At the trial for crimes committed in Sarajevo in 1992, a prosecution witness said that defendant Goran Saric was in control of Bosnian Serb forces in Nahorevo.
Witness Muhamed Ruhotina said that together with 25 men he was taken to the so-called Bunker at Sonja’s [municipality of Vogosca] after being arrested in a Sarajevo neighborhood in 1992.
“When I was taken prisoner, I weighed 120 kilograms, and when I was exchanged, I weighed 48 kilograms. My own wife could not recognize me,” said Ruhotina, who spent nine and half months imprisoned in several facilities.
He said that in those facilities he was forced to move dead bodies, dig trenches, and carry ammunition for the Army of Repubilika Srpska. “I survived human shield twice and I was wounded three times,” said the witness.
Speaking about the imprisonment of the population of the Sarajevo settlement of Nahorevo, the witness said that they were first called in front of the primary school to surrender weaponry, mostly hunting weapons, which they did.
“Several days after that, they went door to door and said that all men aged between 16 and 80 have to go to the community centre for a meeting. Twenty minutes later, soldiers came and took us to Jagomir," recalled Ruhotina.
In the Jagomir hospital he spent three days, after which they were separated and the prisoners were addressed by Saric.
“They told us to go out in front of the building and stand in line. Goran Saric came in a camouflage uniform, wearing a beret. He said: ‘People that I am letting go, you better not dare attack Jagomir'. He had an automatic rifle and fired a shot at a spruce tree,” remembered Ruhotina.
He added that a former policeman named Boban, when asked by a Bosniak neighbour to be released, said he did not have a say in anything and that “Goran Saric was the chief”.
“I was first on the list to be released, but they turned me back. The list was read by Goran Saric. One group was released towards Stara Breka, I saw this from the building’s window. The rest of us were driven to the Bunker at Sonja’s,” said Ruhotina.
Saric is charged, as head of the police station in the Serb municipality of Centre in Sarajevo, with issuing an order on June 19, 1992, to all the men from the settlement of Nahorevo to come to the local community centre, and around 100 Bosniaks were led from there and locked up in the Jagomir hospital’s building.
As specified in the indictment, Saric separated 60 prisoners into the first group who were taken by force to the territory controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 26 Bosniaks into the group which was transferred to the Bunker camp in Vogosca, while he separated 11 persons into the third group who were later killed in the territory of Skakavac in Sarajevo.
The trial is set to resume on June 11.