During a trial over the earliest war crimes of the Bosnian conflict, a witness recalled how she begged for her husband's life before he was shot.
The prosecution witness, Jelica Zecevic, said that when shooting broke out on her street in the village of Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod in March 1992, she fled to the basement with her husband Milan and other family members, where they were joined by some of their neighbours.
While down there, she said that soldiers threatened to throw in a grenade and ordered them to come out, then one of them separated her from her husband.
“I pleaded with him not to kill him. He touched my genitals,” said Zecevic.
Zecevic said the soldier then took her to her husband, who was lying on the ground, and shot him.
“He was lying on his stomach. I don’t know whether he was already dead. If he was alive, the soldier finished him off,” she said, weeping as she spoke.
The fighting around Bosanski Brod in March 1992 pitted Serbs on one side against Bosniaks and Croats on the other.
Zemir Kovacevic, a former fighter with the First Bosanski Brod Brigade, an independent armed unit made up of Bosniak and Croats, is on trial for taking part in the attack on Sijekovac.
The prosecution alleges that he killed three people himself and another five together with others.
Zecevic testified that after being taken away by the soldiers, she saw a man with a gun whom a neighbour identified as Kovacevic.
Several days later, she said she learnt from her mother-in-law that Kovacevic killed her father-in-law.
The other witness at the court session was Marinko Opacic, who was 11 at the time of the attack on Sijekovac.
He said that when the shooting started, he went to the Zecevic family’s basement with his mother, uncle and grandparents.
Opacic said the soldiers brought them out of the basement, lined them up and said they would be killed, but then an order was issued to send the women and children back.
“When we left the basement again, there were dead bodies outside. I saw a man shoot another man who was lying on the ground,” he said.
The trial will resume on January 16.