At the trial of Bosnian Serb policeman Goran Saric for war crimes in Sarajevo, a prosecution witness recalled how he escaped the execution.
The witness, Fikret Isaric, was brought to the Jagomir hospital in June 1992 and held there for two days by the Serb army and police, he said.
“A man nicknamed Kupres came to a room in which I was held with another 20 men and took some jewellery and personal documents from everyone. After that we were separated into three groups”, recalled Isaric.
He said that names were read out and the prisoners were told where the first group would go, and where the other two. “I was in the group which was slated to go to Pale. The first group was heading into town and the third to the camp in Vogosca. I heard that my group was going to be executed”, explained Isaric.
Goran Saric is charged, as head of the police station in the Serb municipality of Centre in Sarajevo, with issuing an order 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.
According to the indictment, Saric was on June 21, 1992, separating prisoners in the Jagomir hospital’s building into three groups. Sixty prisoners were taken by force to Sarajevo, 26 Bosniaks in the second group were transferred to the Bunker camp in Vogosca, while 11 people from the third group were killed.
Isaric said that he asked a guard named Beko to help him. The guard talked to Kupres and asked that Isaric be moved to the group which was headed for the city.
After Kupres explained that he could not move him to the group which was going to Sarajevo, the witness said that the guard asked to at least put him into the group headed to Vogosca.
This proposal was accepted and Isaric was taken to the Sonja camp in Vogsoca, where around 60 men were imprisoned. The witness explained that all of them were assigned to a labour platoon.
Isaric said that he stayed at the Sonja camp for around six months and after that was taken to a prisoner exchange.
The witness said he did not know defendant Saric, but that citizens of the Nahorevo settlement may have known him.
The trial is scheduled to resume on August 27.