At the trial for war crimes committed in Sarajevo, a prosecution witness said that the defendant, Goran Saric, told a soldier to take the people from Nahorevo and kill them.
Witness Abid Pandzic, resident of the Sarajevo neighbourhood of Nahorevo, said that in the summer of 1992 he was ordered by the Bosnian Serb forces to leave his home and gather together with other Bosniaks from the area at the nearby hill.
“A soldier named Zorka told us they were waiting for Saric to see what they should do with us. Saric came soon afterwards and briefly said: ‘Take them down two by two and kill them.’ However, Zorka then told us that if we wanted co-existence, we should return to our homes, which we did,” said Pandzic.
He added that, on the next day, together with other Bosniak men from Nahorevo, he was taken to the building of the psychiatric hospital Jagomir, where he saw Saric again.
Goran Saric is charged, as head of the police station in the Serb municipality Centre in Sarajevo, with taking part in the attack on Bosniak and Bosnian Croat civilians in Nahorevo, Poljine and other Sarajevo settlements.
According to the indictment, he ordered all men from Nahorevo to come to the community centre on June 19, 1992, after which around 100 Bosniaks were taken from there and imprisoned in the Jagomir hospital building.
On the same day, it was said, Saric ordered the rest of the non-Serb population to surrender, and around 200 women, children and elderly were taken by force to the territory controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Witness Abid Pandzic said that the men in the building of the Jagomir hospital were put into three or four rooms, and that they were stripped of money, jewellery and documents. He said that later in front of the hospital, Saric was separating people into groups.
“Saric was deciding who would go to Vogosca, and who to Pale. He was standing in front of the building while we were getting into a line. I was put into the group for Vogosca and placed into the bunker next to the Sonja tavern. I was taken from there to be a human shield and to dig trenches,” said Abid Pandzic.
In the over nine months that he spent in the detention camp in Vogosca, the witness said that he saw the defendant once or twice.
Witness Mesur Pandzic was also examined at Monday’s hearing and said that he was ordered to the bunker in Vogosca from the building of the Jagomir hospital, where he was being held in the summer of 1992.
“Saric told us to go to the Bunker at Sonja’s and 28 of us were taken there. I know that three men stayed behind in the hospital building, and their bodies were later found and identified at Skakavac,” said Mensur Pandzic.
The trial is scheduled to resume on June 18.