WITNESS: THERE WERE CRIMES, BUT I CAN'T SAY WHICH ONES
Goran Krcmar has claimed at Ratko Mladic’s trial that the special unit of the Banja Luka Public Security Service didn’t commit any crimes against non-Serbs in June 1992 in Kotor Varos. Krcmar, a former member of the unit, admitted that he had been in Kotor Varos at the time. In Krcmar’s words, ‘doubtless’ members of the Burce unit committed some crimes…but he actually ‘can't say what those crimes are’
Goran Krcmar, who worked in the Commission for the Exchange of Prisoners of War in the VRS 1st Krajina Corps, continued his evidence at the trial of Ratko Mladic.
Continuing the examination-in-chief defense counsel Branko Lukic showed a map of 1,400 locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina where – according to the witness – the remains of 4,100 Serbs reported missing have been discovered. As the witness said, the remains of 471 persons of Serb ethnicity have been exhumed in Sarajevo alone. The witness claimed that 'no one has been held responsible yet’ for those crimes, except in one case, but, as Krcmar noted, that person was found to have 'diminished capacity'.
Today the defense counsel once again played an excerpt from the movie Ljubi brata showing the exhumation of a Serb soldier who had been beheaded. The victim is believed to have been killed by the members of the El Mujaheed detachment. The witness said that the conduct of the BH Army’s Mujahideen unit made the Serb people become ‘full of hate and vengeance’.
In the first part of the cross-examination prosecutor Arthur Traldi noted that before he became a member of the exchange commission the witness served in the special unit of the Banja Luka Security Services Center. In June 1992, the witness took part in combat operations in Kotor Varos, at the time when mass crimes were committed against non-Serbs.
The prosecutor went on to show several video excerpts in which the witness was able to identify three members of the Security Services Center special unit. One of the recordings showed members of the special unit forcing a captured civilian to raise his hand and hold it up against the wall with three fingers held up. ‘Serbs greet each other with three fingers, but I don’t see anything controversial here’, the witness remarked.
Also, the prosecutor showed Krcmar the minutes from a meeting of the Kotor Varos Crisis Staff held on 26 June 1993. The minutes make mention of the crimes committed by the special unit adding that Stojan Zupljanin, chief of the Banja Luka Security Services Center, would be informed about everything. Krcmar replied that he didn’t know about this or any other meeting or about the crimes. He is certain that the police did not commit any crimes.
This prompted Judge Orie to ask the witness what his conviction was based on. Krcmar told him that while he worked on the exhumations in the field he learned from the Zenica investigation authorities that a group called Burce had committed the crimes. He did not question the fact that the crimes had been committed, but he for one didn’t know what those crimes were. In Judge Orie’s opinion, an ‘analysis of the logic’ underpinning the witness’s replies cast doubt on the credibility of his allegation that the special police unit did not commit any crimes in Kotor Varos.
Goran Krcmar continues his evidence tomorrow.
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