Milun Kornjaca, accused of crimes in the eastern Bosnian town of Cajnice, said he never commanded Serb paramilitaries or committed war crimes.
Kornjaca testified at his own trial in Sarajevo on Wednesday that he didn’t give orders for the mass detention of Bosniaks in Cajnice in May 1992 or have any involvement in killing any of them.
“I never issued orders for the arrest or any crime they are blaming me for and I will prove it,” Kornjaca told the court in his defence.
The indictment against him alleges that after the death of a member of the Blue Eagles paramilitary unit, its leader Kornjaca participated in the murder of 28 civilians imprisoned at a hunting lodge.
But Kornjaca insisted that he was not the commander of the unit.
“The Blue Eagles did not exist on the territory of Cajnice. I was not in the paramilitaries,” he said.
“There was the territorial defence army of the municipality of Cajnice, which later became the Republika Srpska [Bosnian Serb] Army. First I was in an intervention unit and was assigned to guard bridges. Later I was a commander of the 7th Infantry Company,” he said.
Kornjaca, who is planning to testify in his own defence for five days, also talked about the beginning of the war in Cajnice.
“The first Serb got killed on May 13, 1992. This means the war was initiated by them – the Muslims,” he said.
His trial is scheduled to resume on March 13.