At his trial in Sarajevo, a prosecution protected witness said that the defendant, Goran Saric, saved his life by preventing a soldier from killing him along with a group of prisoners in Jagomir hospital.
Witness S1 said that he and several other men who were kept as prisoners in the Jagomir hospital in Sarajevo in 1992 were led out of a room by one Miodrag Curkovic, who was “drunk” and intended to execute them.
“That's when Goran Saric showed up and pushed Miodrag’s rifle away, saying we were under his control,” said the witness, who was brought to Jagomir hospital in mid-June 1992.
Witness S1 said that prisoners in Jagomir were beaten. “We were taken out to eat and that is where I saw beaten men, they had bruises and were all bloody,” added the witness.
The same witness said that he met the defendant for a second time when Saric came to a room in which the witness was being held with another two men.
“Saric told me he would see if they could release me into town and he kept his promise on the very same day,” said the witness.
The witness said that later that day he was taken out together with 40 men to the courtyard of the hospital and released, after being addressed by the defendant.
“He said: ‘People, you are going home, and tell them at Breka not to shoot. This is a Serbian state. Don’t make me angry’,” the witness said, adding that they then crossed into the territory controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Saric is charged, as chief of police in the Serb municipality of Centre in Sarajevo, with ordering all the men from the settlement of Nahorevo to come to the local community centre. Around 100 Bosniaks were then led from there and detained in the Jagomir hospital building.
According to the indictment, on June 21, 1992, Saric separated the detainees in the Jagomir hospital building into three groups. Sixty were taken by force to Sarajevo, 26 in the second group were transferred to the Bunker camp in Vogosca, while 11 from the third group were killed.
S8, the second protected witness for the Prosecution to testify at the trial, said that during the conflict in Sarajevo he was member of the Army of Republika Srpska, and that in June 1992 he was on guard duty in Jagomir hospital, where “the men from Nahorevo” were brought.
He recalled that after several days a group of men was released from the Jagomir hospital, after the defendant lined them up and told them they were free to go to town, which they did. “I thought that was it, but after they left, another group came out and it was taken to Vogosca, to Sonja’s”, said the witness.
Witness S8 added that a smaller group of men came out at the end and were ordered to get onto a truck, but he could not remember whether anyone was escorting the truck, which headed in an unknown direction.
S8 said that as far as he was concerned, Saric was “chief in the Jagomir hospital”.
Asked by Zoran Bozic, member of the Trial Chamber, whether the witness heard what happened to the last group of people, he replied that he heard they were all killed at Skakavac, but did not know who did it.
The trial will resume on September 3.