Bosniak Soldier ‘Ordered Killings of Croats’

The trial of Bosniak former soldier Vehid Subotic over a massacre in the village of Dusina near Zenica in 1993 was told that an eyewitness saw the defendant order the killings.

A statement by former Croatian Defence Council fighter Ivica Kegelj, describing how he saw defendant Vehid Subotic, alias ‘Geler’, order the murders, was read out in the Sarajevo court on Friday.

In the statement that he gave to the Hague Tribunal in 2004, Kegelj said that he was captured by the Bosnian Army along with several other members of the Croatian Defence Council on January 26, 1993.

He said that one prisoner was shot, and a man called ‘Geler’ (‘Shrapnel’), who identified himself as a commander, ordered another soldier to make sure he was dead.

‘Geler ordered the soldier to shoot once again and to kill him. Geler then told us: ‘If you don’t say where [your] weapons are, this is what is going to happen to you,’’ he said.

Geler then asked the witness about the weapons, and when he replied that they had been handed over, the Bosniak soldier hit him.

‘I was in a state of shock and I realised what would happen to us,’ Kegelj said.

After that, another prisoner was killed, he continued.

‘I only saw the shot which hit him. After him, [another prisoner called] Niko Kegelj was also killed,’ he said.

Subotic, a former member of the second battalion of the Seventh Muslim Brigade of the Bosnian Army, is charged with ordering other soldiers to kill eight Croats in the village of Dusina.

Kegelj’s statement to the Hague Tribunal was read out to the court because he lives in the United States and could not testify in person.

The trial continues on June 6.

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