Continuing his testimony at the trial for crimes committed in Konjic, a former soldier of the Zulfikar detachment of the Bosnian army said that the murders were committed “while they were clearing the ground”.
Testifying under the code name O, the witness said that the soldiers of the Zulfikar unit were fired upon from the Croatian houses after they entered the village of Trusina in the morning of April 16, 1993.
“Murders happened as we were clearing the ground,” said the protected witness who started his testimony on September 3 and gave his testimony in a distorted voice from a separate room.
The witness said that he also saw the executions of several Croat men, lined against the wall of a house in the small village of Gaj. He said that he did not hear the direct order for the execution, but that soldiers later talked about it among themselves.
Asked who fired the shots, the witness named his fellow soldiers from the unit – Rasema Handanovic, also known as Zolja, Edin Dzeko, Eniz Popar, adding that he thought that one of the defendants, Nedzad Hodzic, also fired.
He said that Handanovic went over to the executed men and shot them in the head, adding that she did that of her own free will.
After she pleaded guilty for participation in this execution, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina sentenced Handanovic to five and a half years of prison, while Dzeko is on trial in separate proceedings.
The prosecution charged Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin, Senad Hakalovic, Nedzad Hodzic, Nihad Bojadzic and Zulfikar Alispago also known as Zuka, former members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the murder of 18 Bosnian Croat civilians and four captured soldiers of the Croatian Defence Council in the village of Trusina.
According to the indictment, Alispago was commander of the Zulfikar Detachment, Bojadzic his deputy, and Memic, Salcin and Hodzic members of the unit. Hakalovic was a soldier of the 45th Neretvica brigade.
The protected witness said that before the attack, the Zulfikar detachment was deployed in the village of Parsovici, where he heard Bojadzic cursing Zuka and saying that “everyone must be killed”.
The indictment alleges that Bojadzic, former Deputy Commander of the Zulfikar unit, commanded the attack on Trusina and told the soldiers that no one must stay alive.
The trial will resume on October 1, when a new protected witness for the prosecution would be examined.