Two eyewitnesses from Zvornik testified about the arrests of non-Serbs there in 1992. One of the witnesses contends that the police secured detention facilities where

Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin in the courtroomMico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin in the courtroom

At the trial of former Bosnian Serb police officials Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin, two witnesses testified under pseudonyms today: ST-221 and ST-222. They both spoke about the crimes in Zvornik in 1992.

A brief summary of witness ST-221’s statement was read out in open session; it described the events in Zvornik from the beginning of the war to August 1992 when the witness left the town. In that period, the witness learned that there were detention centers for non-Serbs. The witness also knew that Muslims were killed in “Gerina klanica” and had ‘specific information’ about the detainees killed in a school in Drinjaca on or around 30 May 1992. In his statement, the witness said he saw the bodies of about 120 Muslim civilians murdered in the Alhos factory in Karakaj.

The witness identified locations of the detention facilities on photos and maps that were shown in court: the Ekonomija farm, the Culture Center in Celopek, “Gerina klanica” and the Technical School in Karakaj. Stanisic’s and Zupljanin’s defense counsels had no questions for this witness.

The next witness, testifying under pseudonym ST-222, said that the police reservists secured a number of detention facilities in Zvornik. In May 1992, the police secured the Ekonomija farm; the witness ‘heard that prisoners were abused there’. The police also guarded the prisoners held in the Technical School in Karakaj, in the magistrate court, in the “Novi Izvor” building and in the Culture Center in Celopek.

Witness ST-222 was present when prisoners held in the Culture Center in Celopek were transferred to the magistrate court building following the massacre committed there by the paramilitaries known as the Yellow Wasps. Some of the prisoners who had gunshot wounds were put in separate accommodation. The Zvornik police didn’t investigate the incidents in Celopek, the witness said.

The witness ‘assumes’ that police chief Milos Pantelic invited the paramilitaries from a group called ‘Gogic’s men’ to Zvornik. Those men had ‘criminal past and large criminal records, they robbed shops, looted apartments, beat up the police and Muslims’, the witness said. Eventually the police surrounded the building where ‘Gogic’s men’ were ensconced and expelled them to Serbia.

Tomorrow, the defense will cross-examine witness ST-222.