News 12 Jul 17

Bosnian Fighters Tried for Jailing, Killing Sarajevo Serbs

Former fighters Senad Dzananovic, Edin Gadzo and Jasmin Erovic went on trial for participating in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at detaining Serb civilians in the Sarajevo area in 1992 and killing them.

Dragana Erjavec
BIRN
Sarajevo
Alipasino Polje, where the crimes were committed. Photo: Wikimedia/Me5otron.

Senad Dzananovic, Edin Gadzo and Jasmin Erovic, former members of the ‘Stela’ unit of the Territorial Defence forces and special units of the Bosnian Army, went on trial at the state court in the capital on Wednesday for allegedly committing war crimes against the civilian population in the Sarajevo area.

According to the charges, they unlawfully detained, tortured, mistreated and killed civilian detainees in the Alipasino Polje B Faza neighbourhood of the city, acting in collaboration with others.

They are accused of participating in the joint criminal enterprise along with their superiors, Jusuf Prazina and Samir Kahvedzic.

Prosecutor Vladimir Simovic said the crimes were committed in the basement of a building in ZAVNOBiH Square, where civilians were detained, as well as in a butcher’s shop in an annex of the same building and at the offices of the ‘Stela’ unit, where they were brought for interrogation and torture.

The indictment alleges that from May 1992 to the end of July, Dzananovic unlawfully detained more than 100 Serb civilians and, in his capacity as manager and the person responsible for the detention facilities in Alipasino Polje neighbourhood, participated and allowed other members of the ‘Stela’ unit to kill, rape and cause physical and mental injuries to the detained civilians.

Gadzo is charged with having participated in unlawful detention, murders, interrogations and the physical mistreatment of Serb civilians from May 1992 to the end of July.

According to the charges, Erovic, who was allegedly accompanied by Dzananovic, took one female prisoner to an apartment in Alipasino Polje, where they raped her during the period from May 1992 to the end of July.

Prosecutor Simovic said he would prove that a system of abuse of Serb civilians was established in Alipasino Polje in May 1992, adding that many of the civilians were killed and the remains of some of them have still not been found.

“The fate of some of those people is still not known,” the prosecutor said.

Senad Dupovac, the defence lawyer for Dzananovic, insisted however that his client was not the manager of the detention facilities, but a deputy of Jusuf Pusina.

“The period covered by the indictment to which the charges against my client refer is not correct. We shall prove that the defendant was not present here all the time during the mentioned period,” Dupovac said.

The trial will continue on August 31.

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