SETTING UP EXECUTION SQUAD FOR BRANJEVO
Dragan Todorovic served in the VRS 10th Commando Detachment during the war. He testified in Ratko Mladic's defense. This is the fourth time he has appeared as a witness before the Tribunal. He testified as a prosecution witness in the cases against the Srebrenica Seven, Tolimir and Karadzic
In 1995, Dragan Todorovic was in charge of logistic support to the Vlasenica Platoon of the 10th Commando Detachment. The unit was directly subordinated to the VRS Main Staff and its members participated in the execution of more than 1,000 Muslim detainees at the Branjevo farm on 16 July 1995. In 1996, Drazen Erdemovic, one of the soldiers from the unit, pleaded guilty to the crime. He testified about it before the Tribunal at all Srebrenica trials.
As he was questioned by Mladic’s defense counsel, Todorovic described how he and his fellow fighters participated in the operation to capture Srebrenica on 11 July 1995. Milorad Pelemis, former commander of the 10th Commando Detachment, has also testified recently in Mladic’s defense, and he too described the operation. Mladic's defense called Todorovic in a bid to challenge Drazen Erdemovic’s allegations. Erdemovic claimed that he saw Pelemis ‘in downtown Srebrenica’ as he ordered Serb soldiers to kill a Muslim youth who had wanted to surrender. In his evidence Pelemis denied the claim. Today Todorovic said he didn’t see Erdemovic that day ‘in downtown Srebrenica’.
As a logistic officer, Todorovic was in charge of supplying weapons to his unit. This is what he was doing on 15 July 1995 when ‘Dragomir Pecanac, intelligence officer from the Main Staff and Mladic’s assistant’ arrived in the unit’s barracks in Vlasenica. Pecanac ordered the officers to put together a group of soldiers from the 10th Commando unit who were to carry out to a ‘special task’. As Todorovic recounted,Pecanac clashed with one of the soldiers from the detachment, but eventually the group was set up. Most of the people in the group came from the Bijeljina Platoon, andErdemovic, who was from the same platoon, volunteered to join them. As Todorovic said today, he obeyed Colonel Franc Kos’s order and got ready the combat equipment for the group; he did not do it willingly. Today he said that no one: not him, not Kos and not the soldiers, knew what the ‘special task’ was.
In a bid to highlight the link between Dragomir Pecanac and Ratko Mladic, the prosecutor reminded the witness in the cross-examination about his evidence at Radovan Karadzic’s trial, when he said that Pecanac ‘was directly connected with Mladic’ and that Pecanac ‘was with Mladic all the time’. Today the witness noted that ‘everyone liked to be near the general’.
At the prosecutor's prodding, Todorovic confirmed that on 15 July 1995, during his visit to the barracks, Pecanac said he would meet Ljubisa Beara, the security chief in the Main Staff, in Zvornik. Todorovic also confirmed that he saw a ‘cherry-red VW Golf’ in front of the barracks that day. He thought the car belonged to Vujadin Popovic, the security chief in the Drina Corps. Both Beara and Popovic were found guilty by the Tribunal of genocide and were sentenced to life.
Dragan Todorovic continues his evidence tomorrow.
- Case : Mladic
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- 2015-05-12 WAS PECANAC MLADIC'S MAN FOR 'SPECIAL TASKS'?
- 2015-05-12 WHO WERE THE VICTIMS OF ORIC'S ATTACK ON BIJELOVAC: CIVILIANS OR SOLDIERS?
- 2015-05-13 WAR CRIMES IN 'VACUUM'