Tuesday, May 20, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 20,2008) - A Kalinovik concentration camp survivor, Ahmo Musanovic,testified yesterday before the Bosnian State Court that in May 1992 Serbian war criminal Ratko Bundalo "was reading the list containing names of about 50 detainees" in the school building in the Bosnian town of Kalinovik, "who were gathered, loaded onto trucks and transported in the direction of Bileca." They have been missing since then.

"Bundalo was uniformed and he was reading the names from the list. I was supposed to go with them as well, but my two-year old boy started crying. I told them I would not go without my son, so Milivoje Sladoje approached Bundalo and whispered something to him. Then he said I did not have to go," the witness said.

Musanovic appeared as a witness before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of Serbian war criminals Ratko Bundalo, Nedjo Zeljaja and Djordjislav Askraba, who are charged, by the Bosnian State Prosecution, with murder, rape, detention, torture, forcible disappearances and pillaging of property of Bosnian civilians in Kalinovik area in 1992 and 1993,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

In the course of his testimony Musanovic told the Bosnian State Court that he and 280 inhabitants of Drace and the surrounding villages, headed towards Sarajevo, after having seen from the forest, in which they were hiding, that their houses had been set on fire by the genocidal Serbian aggressor, in early May 1992. The group of Bosnian civilians consisted of women, children and "about 50 men".

"We arrived to Jelesac village. Passing by a coffee shop in the vicinity of the gunpowder storehouse in Kalinovik, we realised that we were surrounded by soldiers," Musanovic said, adding that all of them were captured by the genocidal Serbian aggressor and taken to the elementary school building in Kalinovik.

The witness then described how he managed to escape.

"General Ratko Mladic came and, I must say, he saved me. They all went to see him and I went in the opposite direction and I managed to reach the free territory," the witness added, but he could not tell when exactly this happened.

Former commander of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS),Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic has been charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

In the course of direct examination the witness mentioned Serbian war criminal Nedjo Zeljaja, claiming that he was present when the detained Bosnian civilians were tortured by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in Kalinovik.

Dika Suljic was examined as the second Prosecution witness at this hearing. She was detained by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in the elementary school building in Kalinovik and she lost two family members in the concentration camps ran by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in this Bosnian town.

"On June 25, 1992, they first captured my husband and then my son. They took them to the school building. I found out about this the following day," Suljic said.

She said that, ten days later, the detained Bosnian civilians were transferred to the gunpowder storehouse. While they were there, she used to bring them food and personal hygiene items, which she gave to the concentration camp guards, who were supervised by Serbian war criminal Djordjislav Askraba.

"On one occasion I asked Askraba to let me see my son at least. He said that I would never see him. Then I told him that all this would pass some day, we would stay alive and meet face to face," witness Suljic said, adding that she was also captured the genocidal Serbian aggressor in August 1992 and detained in the elementary school building, together with about 300 Bosnian women and children.

As she said in the courtroom, after being released, she found out that he son had been set to fire in a barn and her husband and one more detainee had been tied up and taken away by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

The witness will continue her testimony at a closed session before the Bosnian State Court on May 26.

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