News 02 Apr 12

Witness Admits to Trusina Killings

A prosecution witness, Rasema Handanovic, says she took part in the killings in Trusina village, near Konjic, in April 1993, on the orders of the defendant Nihad Bojadzic.

Justice Report

Handanovic, a former member of the 'Zulfikar' squad of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was extradited by the United States of America, in December 2011 and charged with crimes committed in Trusina.

She has made a plea bargain and signed her admission of guilt, but the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has still not considered it.

Testifying at the trial of six members of the Bosnian army, she said that before the attack on Trusina on April 16, 1993, Bojadzic ordered the unit “not to leave any survivors” in the village.

As she said, both Bojadzic and Zulfikar Alispago, who informed the soldiers about the operation, attended the lining up of soldiers in Parsovici village prior to the attack on Trusina.

Handanovic told the court that she overheard a conversation, between the accused Nedzad Hodzic and Bojadzic, known as Blek, who commanded the attack via walkie-talkie, from a hill near Trusina.

"Nedzad called Blek to ask him what to do with the prisoners. His answer was to kill them all,” Handanovic said.

Hodzic then came up to the civilian prisoners and said to the unit: “Stand in a shooting formation and shoot!”

“All of us were shooting. Everything was over in less than a minute.” Handanovic said.

When asked whom she saw shooting the prisoners, she mentioned Hodzic, Edin Dzeko, and Mensur Memic.


Handanovic said that she was shooting too. She added that indictee Salcin guarded the prisoners before they were shot.

The prosecution charges Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin, Senad Hakalovic, Nedzad Hodzic, Nihad Bojadzic and Zulfikar Alispago with the murder of 18 Bosnian Croat civilians and four captured soldiers of the Croatian Defence Council in the village of Trusina on April 16, 1993.

According to the charges, Memic, Salcin and Hodzic, former members of the "Zulfikar" squad, and Hakalovic, former member of "Neretvica" 45th Brigade of the Bosnian Army, participated in the attack on Trusina and the murder of civilians and prisoners of war.

The indictment alleges that Bojadzic, former Deputy Commander of the 'Zulfikar' squad, commanded the attack on Trusina. Alispago is charged with having failed to punish the soldiers who participated in the murders.

Handanovic said that she witnessed the murder of two civilians, a married couple, whom a member of the unit "killed by opening burst fire at them".

Handanovic told the court she felt sorry for the people from Trusina, "because they lost their dearest during the war".

The trial is due to continue on April 16, when the defence teams will examine Handanovic.


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