ON TRAIL OF PIROCANAC’S SREBRENICA VIDEOS
At the trial of Radovan Karadzic the prosecution showed an interactive CD with identification and presentation of the sites recorded by Belgrade journalist Zoran Petrovic Pirocanac on 13 and 14 July 1995 in the Srebrenica region.
Investigator Tomasz Blaszczyk testified today at the trial of Radovan Karadzic for double genocide and other crimes in BH. In 2006 and 2007, Blaszczyk and another OTP employee, video technician Zoran Lesic followed the trail of video recordings made by Belgrade journalist Zoran Petrovic Pirocanac on 13 and 14 July 1995 in the Srebrenica area. The footage was admitted into evidence at all ‘Srebrenica trials’ before the Tribunal and has helped the prosecution to identify numerous participants in the VRS operation in Srebrenica.
Blaszczyk’s and Lesic’s mission was to identify and take photos of the sites where Pirocanac shot the key scenes: the moments when men were separated from the rest of the refugees and when they were herded into the notorious white house in Potocari, the massacre in the Kravica farm warehouse, the ‘man hunt’ on the road from Bratunac to Potocari and the group of men in a field near Sandici. The results were put in a book together with the relevant maps and photos and in 2007, the book was admitted into evidence as a prosecution exhibit at the trial of the seven Bosnian Serb military and police officers charged with the crimes in Srebrenica. Three years later, the book was again admitted into evidence at the trial of Zdravko Tolimir.
For the trial of Radovan Karadzic, the prosecution put together an interactive CD that made it possible to reconstruct Pirocanac’s whereabouts on 13 and 14 July 1995 and to show sites where Pirocanac shot parts of his video.
Blaszczyk said that he OTP received Pirocanac’s video from the BBC, the BH Ministry of Defense and Ljubomir Borovcanin, who commanded the joint RS police forces involved in the Srebrenica operation. Borovcanin escorted the Belgrade journalist during his two-day visit to the Srebrenica area. Finally, Pirocanac himself handed to the prosecution the raw footage that was edited for the report broadcast by Studio B station in Belgrade on 17 July 1995.
It was interesting to see that some scenes, missing from the raw footage Pirocanac gave to the prosecution, were shown in the story broadcast by Studio B. The scenes had either been simply deleted from the raw footage or images of a giant artillery shell or a French daily ration were recorded over them.
As he testified in The Hague, Pirocanac explained that due to his ‘lack of experience’ he ‘accidentally’ recorded new material over some parts of the tape. Curiously enough, what is missing from the raw footage is precisely the incriminating part showing prisoners on the balcony of the notorious ‘white house’ in Potocari, bodies heaped in front of the entrance to the Kravica warehouse and Pirocanac and Borovcanin passing by the warehouse with the sound of gunfire coming from the building.
Interestingly, Pirocanac ‘accidentally’ recorded footage of former Republika Srpska Radovan Karadzic over the video footage he took in Srebrenica. Karadzic is on trial for genocide committed by the forces under his command in Srebrenica in 1995.
Tomasz Blaszczyk continues his evidence on Thursday, 26 January 2012.
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