Saturday, September 29, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2007) – A prosecution witness, who has testified before the Bosnian State Court yesterday about the mass execution of the Bosnian civilians in elementary school in Bratunac by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in 1995, has asked for special protection measures and immunity. The request was made because of fear caused by the threats he has received.

"I have asked the prosecutor to give me immunity as I have already received threats and I do not want to refer the guilt to one of the four indictees," witness said after defence attorney Danilo Mrkaljevic read a part of the decision on immunity during the cross-examination.

Addressing the witness, Mrkaljevic has said: "The prosecutor has considered the severity of the actions and omissions you have committed, as well as the nature of your involvement, solidity of the evidence against you and your relative guilt".

In the course of the hearing held on 19 September, witness said, during cross-examination, that Serbian war criminals Zdravko Bozic, Mladen Blagojevic, Zeljko Zaric and Zoran Zivanovic had participated in "guarding" and murdering of Bosnian men detained in an elementary school in Bratunac in July 1995.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Bozic, Blagojevic, Zaric and Zivanovic, as former members of the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS), with having "planned, ordered, abetted, executed, aided and supported the murder, forcible deportation and detention of people".

"I remember that Bozic carried a machine gun just like me, and that Blagojevic, Zaric and Zivanovic had guns, in addition to automatic guns," witness said.

Blagojevic's defence attorney Miroslav Ristic has presented the witness with three statements he gave to the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) in the course of the investigation in 2006.

In one of the statements the witness claimed that Serbian war criminal Zaric had opened a fire from 'browing' towards a Bosnian man from Srebrenica detained in the school in Bratunac. This is in contradiction to his statement given in the course of the hearing held on 19 September, when he said that Blagojevic, and not Zaric, had been shooting,Ristic said.

"During the first examinations I was under stress and I may have said something wrong, but I have recalled the events very well since then. Those were my first testimonies and, normally, I was a little bit nervous," witness explained.

In the course of the cross-examination, attorney Stanko Petrovic asked witness to define the terms "genocide" and "secondary and primary grave".

"Secondary grave is when you transfer bodies from one grave to another in order to conceal the genocide against Bosniaks. Genocide is extermination of one nation and it is a mass crime," witness has said.

"I do not think your definition is correct, but I do not want to interfere," attorney Petrovic has said.

The four Serbian war criminals have failed to appear at the hearing yesterday. On 10 September they began a hunger strike and refuse to attend hearings.

On the basis of the daily report submitted by the Medical Service in Kula, Trial Chamber Chairman Stanisa Gluhajic has concluded that the four Serbian war criminals are "conscious and oriented. They do not have high temperature, but all of them claim they have some problems such as weakness, stomach pain...".

The trial of the four Serbian war criminals before the Bosnian State Court is due to continue on 1 October 2007, when another protected witness will be examined.

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