Thursday, September 27, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - A Protected Prosecution witness has spoken yesterday before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic about an attack on the Bosnian village of Ahmici committed by the Croatian agressor in April 1993.

"In the morning of 16 April 1993, while my mother and I were running to the basement in our house, we noticed we were surrounded. Five soldiers in camouflage uniforms with HVO marks, "Jokers" and "Knights", followed us to the basement. They were looking for men. They told us we should go to Zenica as it was in 'our country, Alija's country'," witness recalled.

The Bosnian Prosecution charges Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic, in his capacity as member of the Croatian aggressor's formations, with having participated in the "planning and execution of the attacks on the Bosnian towns and the surrounding villages in the Lasva valley". The indictment alleges that members of the Croatian aggressor's military police and the "Jokers" attacked the Bosnian villages of Ahmici, Nadioke, Pirici and Santici on 16 April 1993. In the course of the attack on Ahmici most village residents were murdered or deported, while their property was demolished.

"The soldiers ordered us to get out of our house and we headed towards Vitez, together with other women and children. I saw smoke and houses on fire. On our way to Pirici village we saw soldiers in black and camouflage uniforms," witness told the Bosnian State Court. The convoy of the displaced persons stopped in that village. The people were detained in one house in that village,witness said.

Witness also said that all of them moved on towards "the school in Dubravica, as per an order issued by a person named Vidovic" on 18 April 1993. They stayed in the school until 1 May that year.

"I saw trenches surrounding the school. We were met by two soldiers who started separating us. Women with small children were sent to one room, while the others were sent to the sports hall. That is where I went, together with my mother. Soldiers used to come in the sports hall and take men with them to dig trenches. Later on, I found out that they also took women out of the second room. I guess they raped them," witness said.

During cross-examination, the witness did not confirm ever personally seeing anyone being maltreated, beaten or raped during the period of detention in the school that lasted until 1 May,1993.

The witness stated that Bosnian civilians, who were detained by the Croatian aggressor in the school, were later transported, with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), by buses to Zenica, which was under the control of the Bosnian Army.

The trial of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic is due to continue on 8 October 2007.

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