At the trial for crimes in Trusina near Konjic in April 1993, a Bosnian prosecution protected witness described how several men were executed in the settlement of Gaj.
The protected witness E, who was a member of the 45th Brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina called “Neretvica”, said that during the attack on Trusina he too shot a man.
The witness specified that during the attack on the settlement of Gaj he saw members of the Zulfikar unit, Nedzad Hodzic a.k.a Johnny, Rasema Handanovic a.k.a. Zolja, Edin Dzeko and Eniz Popara standing opposite a lineup of Croatian men dressed in civilian clothes and uniforms.
Nearby, he added, he saw Senad Hakalovic, a former soldier of the Neretvica brigade.
“I saw prisoners with their backs to the wall, between eight and ten of them. Johnny was talking into a talkie-walkie, and then shouted: ‘Firing squad!’ One of the lined up men in uniform dashed past Popara and he shot at him. Then all of them started shooting. I saw Nedzad, Dzeko and Zolja. It is possible that someone else fired too, but I haven’t seen them,” said the witness.
After signing a plea bargain, Rasema Handanovic a.k.a. Zolja was sentenced to five years of prison in late April this year, while Dzeko, who was also a member of the Zulfikar detachment, is on trial in a separate case.
The witness testified that during the attack on Trusina and before the execution, Dzeko killed a married couple. He recalled that Dzeko threw an elderly man onto the ground and then killed him, after which his wife started screaming.
“The wife threw herself at her husband and started shouting: ‘My Ilija, my Ilija.’ ‘Stop screaming!’ Dzeko told her. He shot her in the head,” recalled the witness.
He also described how he shot a man in civilian clothing during the attack on the village.
“I think I got him between the stomach and legs. There were five or six people around me. Someone among them shot him in the head,” said the witness.
Although advised that he was not obliged to talk about these matters, the witness said that he wanted to “because it has been haunting him for 15 years.”
The prosecution charges Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin, Nedzad Hodzic, Nihad Bojadzic and Zulfikar Alispago, former members of the Zulfikar detachment, and Senad Hakalovic, former member of the Neretvica brigade, with the murder of 18 Bosnian Croat civilians and four members of the Croatian Defence Council in the village of Trusina on April 16, 1993.
The witness said that he did not see neither Alispago, the former commander of the Zulfikar unit nor his deputy Bojadzic, before or during the action in Trusina. He added that he did not recognize the names of Salcin and Memic.
The witness said that soldiers from Gornji Vakuf, the Neretvica brigade, and Tigers unit also took part in the attack on Trusina.
The session was interrupted because the witness, who testified from a separate room with a modulated voice, got sick during a recess and was transferred to hospital.
According to the official schedule, the trial is set to resume on October 19.