Bosniak Woman Recalls Husband’s Abduction by Serb Fighters

A Bosniak woman told the war crimes trial of three former Bosnian Serb fighters that her husband was taken from a primary school in Kalinovik in 1992 and killed.

Prosecution witness Enes Hasanbegovic told the court in Sarajevo on Thursday that on August 1, 1992, her husband was taken from the primary school in Kalinovik where he was being held prisoner, and that she never saw him again.

‘Several people came in the afternoon; they called my husband and took him from the [primary school] hall. Immediately [we could] hear screams from the locker room. I recognised that he was screaming and they never brought him back,’ she said.

The next day, she said, one of the defendants, Marinko Bjelic, came to the school and said that her husband had been killed.

Marinko and Zoran Bjelica, as well as Novica Tripkovic – all former Bosnian Serb Army servicemen – are charged with going to the Miladin Radojevic primary school armed with automatic rifles in August 1992 and taking away Saud Hasanbegovic, Edin Bico, Seid Keso and Hasim Hatic.

That night, the indictment says, the detainees were beaten and Keso died, and the next day the soldiers killed the other three men. Hatic was never found but the other bodies were exhumed in 2009.

The witness said that while the guards at the school were drinking, she managed to go to the school classroom where she saw traces of blood and cartridge cases.

‘The cartridge cases were on the floor, the floor was wiped, but it was obvious that there was a lot of blood,’ she said.

The witness said she recognised Zoran Bjelica in the courtroom as a person who used to come to the school, but didn’t know his name. She said that she also recognised Marinko Bjelica from three photographs presented by the prosecution.

The trial continues on April 24.

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