LOGISTICS OFFICER FROM 10TH SABOTAGE DETACHMENT TESTIFIES AT KARADZIC TRIAL
Former logistics officer in the VRS 10th Sabotage Detachment has testified at the trial of Radovan Karadzic. Soldiers from the Detachment participated in the execution of Muslim captives at the Branjevo farm on 16 July 1995
The trial of former Republika Srpska president Radovan Karadzic continued with the evidence of Dragan Todorovic. In July 1995, Todorovic served in the 10th Sabotage Detachment, under the direct command of the VRS Main Staff. Todorovic was in the Vlasenica Platoon and was in charge of logistic support for the 10th Sabotage Detachment. Soldiers from the 10th Sabotage Detachment took part in the execution of Muslim captives at the Branjevo farm in July 1995.
The transcript of Todorovic’s testimony at the trial of Vujadin Popovic and six other military and police officers from Republika Srpska was admitted into evidence. Todorovic testified at this trial in August 2007. A video of Mladic’s arrival in Srebrenica on 11 July 1995 was shown in court. According to the summary of the evidence in the Popovic et al. case, the witness and his detachment entered Srebrenica on 11 July 1995; they had not met any enemy resistance. The same afternoon, Todorovic was ordered to secure the police station in Srebrenica. The next day, on 12 July 1995, Todorovic left the town to transport the body of a soldier killed in a car accident to Trebinje. Todorovic returned to the barracks in the morning of 15 July 1995.
Todorovic confirmed that on 15 July 1995, Dragomir Pecanac, a security officer from the Main Staff, arrived in the barracks. Pecanac ordered that some soldiers get ready for a ‘special task’. Pecanac said that he was to meet with Ljubisa Beara, security chief in the Main Staff, in Zvornik, and left with four soldiers from the 10th Sabotage Detachment. Drazen Erdemovic and Franc Kos were among the four. On the same day, Todorovic saw the Golf car belonging to the Drina Corps security chief Vujadin Popovic in the barracks. He said he had spent the whole day on 16 July 1995 in Srebrenica, herding the abandoned cattle and didn’t have a chance to talk to those selected for the ‘special task’.
The indictment against Radovan Karadzic alleges that Erdemovic, Kos and six members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment participated in the execution of about 1,700 Muslim captives at the Branjevo farm and in the Culture Hall in Pilica on 16 July 1995.
Karadzic tried to corroborate some of the elements of his case through this witness. One of his arguments is that ‘the people in Srebrenica weren’t hungry’ because there was enough food, either locally grown or looted from nearby Serb villages. The looting was done by the Muslim forces led by local warlord Naser Oric. Karadzic also put it to the witness that Mladic ‘took revenge’ on the former commander of the 28th Division and other warlords and ‘Oric’s men’. As Karadzic contended, Mladic did not want to take revenge on the Srebrenica Muslims he called ‘Turks’.
The accused used this opportunity to insist yet again on his argument that the Muslim fighters wore ribbons tied around their heads in combat, in a bid to explain why so many blindfolds were found on the victims from Srebrenica mass graves. The witness confirmed this, adding that the ribbons wore the inscription Tekbir Allahu ekber. Karadzic wasn’t happy with the answer, as none of the witnesses mentioned any such words being inscribed on the ribbons recovered from the mass graves in Srebrenica. Karadzic then asked the witness if the inscriptions could have been disappeared because the ribbons had been buried. The witness readily confirmed it.
After Dragan Todorovic completed the evidence, the trial continued in closed session with the testimony of a protected witness testifying under the pseudonym KDZ 486.
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