Jezik / Language:
5 October 2015

Witnesses Describe Attack of Zvornik Civilians at Trial of Former Bosnian Serb Fighters

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

State prosecution witnesses testifying at the trial of nine former Bosnian Serb police and military officials described a Bosnian Serb attack on Bosniak civilians in Zvornik in July 1992.

Defendants Goran Maksimovic, Ljiljan Mitrovic, Slavko Peric, Mile Vujevic, Vukasin Draskovic, Gojko Stevanovic, Cvjetko Popadic, Rajo Lazarevic and Mico Manojlovic have been charged with participating in an attack on a group of civilians fleeing Teocak on July 14, 1992. They allegedly captured 76 civilians, 67 of whom were killed in the village of Lokanj in the municipality of Zvornik.

Maksimovic was the commander of the Interventions Unit of the public safety station in Ugljevik, Mitrovic was his deputy, while Slavko Peric was the commander of the Lokanjska Company of the Zvornicka Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army. The other defendants were members of that unit.

State prosecution witness Sead Mujkanovic said his family and others fled Teocak in July 1992. He said they fled through the woods towards territory controlled by the Bosnian Army in the municipality of Zvornik.

“I didn’t count, but it was said that there were 120 of us,” Mujkanovic said. He said Serb soldiers opened fire on them near the village of Lokanj.

He said the group was separated and that his wife and children were captured by Serb soldiers. Mujkanovic said he and 12 other men were beaten, tied up and taken to Lokanj. When they arrived, he said he was separated from the group and interrogated about weapons in Teocak.

He said that buses came soon after, and that he along with a number of women and men were were taken to a police station in Zvornik. Their interrogation continued at the police station. Mujkanovic said he believes that by entering the bus, he managed to save his life.

“I think that that was crucial, and that I was lucky to stay alive,” Mujkanovic said. He said he and his wife and children were imprisoned for several months.

Zekerijah Hasanovic, another state prosecution witness, was also travelling with the same group of civilians that was attacked near Lokanj. He said he was walking through a field when fire was opened on the civilians, after which he laid down.

He said he saw two or three people from the group running away and followed them. He said he and 14 others made it to to the village of Godus in the municipality of Zvornik, which was under the control of the Bosnian Army. He said two of his relatives didn’t survive the journey. He said he discovered the fate of the other civilians when their bodies were exchanged in 1993.

The trial will continue on October 19.

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