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THE SOUND OF SHOOTING AND SHOUTING
Appearing at a trial for crimes committed in Ilijas, State Prosecution witnesses say that after the murder of two neighbours, other Bosniaks were detained in a school building in Gornja Bioca village and then transferred to various detention camps.
Witness Refik Sehic said that he saw indictee Srpko Pustivuk in a group of “armed neighbours”, who went to Selimovici hamlet, adding that he then heard “shouting and shooting”.
“The shooting lasted more than half an hour. The same people I saw going towards the Selimovic’s houses then came back. Srpko was carrying a wounded girl, while Mile Pustivuk had a wounded boy in his arms...Later on I found out that Uzeir and his son Zahid had been killed on that day,” the witness said, but he did not explain who Mile Pustivuk was.
Sehic said that a couple of days later Uzeir’s youngest son pointed his finger at Srpko, saying that he had killed his father and brother.
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Pustivuk, who was accompanied by other members of the Army and police of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with having participated in an attack against civilians, including children, in Gornja Bioca village, Ilijas municipality in May or June 1992. The indictment alleges that one civilian was killed and three were severely wounded in the attack.
Second Prosecution witness Bego Selimovic said that he saw the bodies of his brother Uzeir and his son Zahid, who had been killed. In fact, the witness says that he was among the prisoners who were ordered by a person named Cedo Pustivuk to bury the dead a couple of days after they had been murdered.
“The house door was broken and full of bullet holes. The bodies were lying next to each other in front of the house. Uzeir was hit on his chest. Also, he had a big wound on his back. Zahid’s arm and leg were cut. He had bullet wounds on his neck. We buried them underneath an apple tree,” the witness said.
Selimovic and Sehic said that more than 60 Bosniak men from Gornja Bioca village were detained in the local school building.
“We were told that we were held in the building for security reasons, because Arkan’s guys had arrived. However, none of us saw any unknown soldiers. All of them were our neighbours, Serbs,” Sehic said, adding that “the security meant five months of detention” to him.
The Prosecution witnesses said that, after having been detained for about six days in the school building, they were transferred by buses and trucks to “Iskra” warehouse in Podlugovi, Ilijas municipality and then to “Planjina Kuca” in Semizovac, Vogosca municipality. Selimovic said that he was exchanged in February 1993.
The indictment, filed by the State Prosecution, charges Pustivuk, former special policeman with the Public Safety Station in Ilijas, with having participated in the arrest and detention of Bosniak civilians, who were then taken to other detention camps and facilities.
The trial is due to continue on May 24.