Jezik / Language:
8 September 2015

Witnesses at Brestovac Trial Describe Miljkovac Murder

Arnes Grbešić BIRN BiH Doboj

The Vojslav Brestovac trial began before the district court of Doboj with testimony from two witnesses who described the murder of three Bosniak civilians in Doboj.

Brestovac, a former member of the Doboj public safety station, has been charged with participating in the murder of civilians Muharem, Muhamed and Ismeta Aldobasic in the village of Miljkovac in Doboj in June 1992.

At today’s hearing, statements given by Muharem Aldobasic’s deceased wife, Petra Aldobasic, were read aloud in the courtroom. Former police officer Marko Zecevic, who was present during the murder, also gave his testimony.

In a statement she gave to the Zenica-Doboj cantonal prosecution in 2006 and the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) in 2009, Petra Aldobasic said two uniformed men abducted her husband Muharem from their house on the night of June 19, 1992.

“He returned two hours later. He was beaten up,” Aldobasic said.

She said two uniformed men showed up to their house again the next day, and took Muharem with them. She said her husband was returned five minutes later. Upon their return, the uniformed men ordered everyone out of the house. One of the men shot Muharem, and also killed Petra Aldobasic’s brother-in-law. One of the men hit Aldobasic with the butt of a rifle.

“They ordered me to leave the place. I ran away behind the house and heard a gunshot. At that moment I knew my sister-in-law Ismeta had been killed as well,” Aldobasic said.

In both statements, Aldobasic said she had spoken to former police officer Marko Zecevic on the following day.

“Marko was accompanied by the man who killed my husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law. The policemen at the checkpoint told us we had 15 minutes to bury them. Later on we were told we could bury them normally. We buried them in one grave in Miljkovac on that day,” Aldobasic said. She said several others helped her bury her family members.

In her statements, Aldobasic said she heard from an acquaintance named Seksan that the man who murdered her family members was named Vojo Grabovac or Brestovac. She said she remembered the name because it reminded her of a tree. She said that she found out later on that the name of the man who hit her with a rifle butt was named Cvjetko Sarcevic.

Prosecutor Snjezana Petrovic also presented a statement given by Petra Aldobasic to SIPA investigators in 2012, in which she identified the defendant on the basis of photos.

SIPA investigators determined Aldobasic hadn’t recognized anyone in the first photo album. When shown a second series of photos, she identified a photo depicting Vojislav Brestovac.

Former police officer Marko Zecevic said one of his superiors from the public safety station in Doboj sent him to the scene of the murders in Miljkovac on June 21, 1992.

“I came to the checkpoint in front of a shop in Miljkovac with an official vehicle. I can’t remember whether anyone was with me. An armed uniformed person met me, gave me the information and accompanied me to the house. The checkpoint was about 50 meters away from the house. I saw three bodies on the porch. I knew Petra and her husband Muharem. I called Petra. She was crying. The policeman walked away. I don’t recall that she told me anything about the perpetrator,” Zecevic said.

Zecevic said defendant Vojislav Brestovac was the police officer he met at the checkpoint. He said he identified him when presented photos by SIPA investigators.

The trial will continue on September 9.

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