The prosecution entered war-time press clippings about the Sarajevo settlements into evidence at the trial of Veselin “Batko” Vlahovic, who is charged with crimes at Grbavica, Vraca and Kovacici.
Edina Kamenica, a journalist with the Oslobodjenje newspaper, confirmed the authenticity of her articles published in 1993 and 1997, as well as articles from other newspapers, which contain the testimonies of people who lived at Grbavica, Vraca and Kovacici in 1992.
Kamenica said that she lived in Kovacici until September 30, 1992 when, together with another 500 non-Serb citizens, she was expelled to the territory controlled by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Speaking about her series of articles, entitled “Testimonies – silent disappearances from Grbavica and Vraca“ published in 1993, Kamenica said, “people were more willing to talk about it then” than in 1997, when the second series “Batko – a butcher afraid of a spider“ was published.
“Working on the second series, I realised that people were unwilling to talk because of fear,“ said Kamenica.
Asked by Vlahovic’s lawyer why, as a professional, she did not address the other side of the story in her articles, Kamenica replied that she had written several hundred articles in order to cover the story from as many angles as possible.
“The fact an indictment was raised against Batko confirms that I did my job professionally,” said Kamenica.
Vlahovic addressed the witness saying that he agreed with parts of her articles. “There is truth in it, but there are also lies,” he added.
The prosecution charges Vlahovic with murders, rapes, torture, robbery, disappearances and other inhuman acts, all of which were committed in 1992 against Bosniak and Croat civilians in the Sarajevo neighbourhoods of Grbavica, Vraca and Kovacici.
Avdo Huseinovic, a filmmaker, was also called as a witness for the prosecution. Huseinovic’s film, “Bloody Dance Around Seher” [Turkish name for Sarajevo], directly addresses war-time events in the municipality of Novo Sarajevo, including Grbavica, Vraca and Kovacici.
Huseinovic said that his primary sources for the film were Kamenica’s newspaper articles, which prompted him to persuade people from Grbavica to come before the camera.
“The protagonist of the film is a boy known as witness S25, 14 at the time, who was taken by Batko to an apartment where he kept a woman as a sex slave and afterwards he bragged to the boy that he had killed her,” said Huseinovic.
Asked about it by the defence, he said that the film “absolutely authentically captured the testimonies of the people.”
The trial is set to resume on May 31, 2012.