News 28 Aug 12

Blue Eagle’s Chief Was in Charge in Cajnice

At the trial of Milun Kornjaca, a Serb paramilitary chief accused of crimes in Cajnice, a witness said that he blames the defendant for his brother’s death.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

Muharem Kuvelija testified that his brother, Safet, was arrested in May 1992, in front of the local store and taken to the police station in Cajnice, and then to the prison in Mostina, where he was killed.

“Our sister visited him on May 17, at Mostina…He was killed there later. There was an exhumation, I recognised him mostly by his skull, and later there was a DNA analysis which confirmed his identity,” recalled Kuvelija.

Kuvelija said he left Cajnice on May 5, 1992, to Pljevlja, in Montenegro. He tried to rescue his brother from Mostina through a commander of the police station in Pljevlja, but failed.

“Dragan [the police commander] said that Milun was in charge of Mostina and that no one can release my brother,” said the witness.

Kuvelija said that he blamed Milun Kornjaca for the death of his brother. He said that Kornjaca was the commander of the Serb paramilitary unit, the Blue Eagles, and was in charge of everything that was happening in Mostina.

Kornjaca is charged, as commander of the paramilitary unit Blue Eagles, with taking part in the expulsion of the Bosniaks from Cajnice, including murder of 11 civilians committed on May 19, 1992, at Mostina.

Kornjaca refused to attend the trial and it is being held in absentia according to the earlier decision of the court.  The presiding judge, Darko Samardzic, said that the trial would be held in absentia if Kornjaca refuses to attend without a proper excuse.

The trial is set to resume on August 28.

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Background

Timeline: Cases for War Crimes in Pec Villages

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlan in Kosovo in 1999.

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