Committee for Collecting Data
on Crimes Committed Against Humanity
and International Law
B e l g r a d e
THE SITUATION IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF VIŠEGRAD PRIOR TO THE OUTBREAK OF WAR AND CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST SERBS DURING THE WAR
THE SITUATION IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF VIŠEGRAD PRIOR TO THE OUTBREAK OF WAR AND CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST SERBS DURING THE WAR
Višegrad, as a border city on the Drina river separating Bosnia from Serbia was of special strategic importance for the Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina in implementing their plans for the creation of a Muslim state according to the ideas set forth in the "Islamic Declaration" authored by Alija Izetbegović, the president of the Party of Democratic Action and the first president of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina after the multiparty elections.
The inhabitants of Višegrad were predominantly Muslims. According to the 1991 census, in the municipality of Višegrad there were 13,316 (62.8%) Muslims and 6,963 (32.8%) Serbs.
The events that will be described demonstrate that the intention of the Muslims was to bring pressure to bear on Serbs by ruthless physical and other forms of assaults so as to force them to move out and thereby secure that area for the future Muslim state. This area is also of particular significance for establishing a link with the Muslim-populated District of Rashka (Sandžak) in Serbia.
The Party of Democratic Action was the direct organizer and inspirer of various assaults on Serbs and of riots which precluded the authorities, at the helm of which were as a rule exclusively Muslims, from normally functioning. Then again, the authorities on their part only formally initiated proceedings against the perpetrators of such actions which were never really carried out to the full which only made the Serbs feel still less secure and more endangered.
Attesting to the strategic importance of Višegrad from the standpoint of the achievement of the objectives of the Muslim Party of Democratic Action is also the fact that on February 16, 1992 a Muslim religious gathering was held in this town devoted to methods of struggle
for establishing a Muslim state in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is at the same time testimony to the concerted action of the religious and the political (state) factor in the activities of the Muslims designed to create a state residing upon Islamic foundations.
Immediately upon the outbreak of war, the Muslims started killing Serb civilians, especially in villages, and undertook other acts of violence seeking to cleanse this area - as a border area adjacent to Serbia - of Serbs.
We shall first describe the situation in Višegrad before the outbreak of war and then the crimes committed against the Serbs during the war.
1. THE SITUATION IN VIŠEGRAD BEFORE THE OUTBREAK OF WAR
1.1. Acts of Violence and Other Forms of Pressure
against the Serbs
1.1.1. The Muslim Party of Democratic Action (PDA) was founded in Višegrad on August 2, 1990. At the founding assembly the Muslims stated that they were better prepared than they had been in 1941 and that they would not allow what had ostensibly happened to them in World War II to happen to them again, as if they had been victimized, whereas in reality many of them had been guilty of crimes committed within the framework of the so-called Independent State of Croatia. Alija Izetbegović and Sulejman Ugljanin visited Višegrad on that occasion and spoke at the Culture Centre. At that meeting the idea was launched that funds should be raised to erect a monument to Muslim victims fallen in World War II, as allegedly many had fallen on Andrić’s bridge.
Fikret Cocalić was elected PDA president for Višegrad and Avdija Šabanović was elected his deputy.
In November 1990 multiparty elections were held and the Muslims won a majority in the municipal assembly. Fikret Cocalić was elected president of the Assembly.
At its first session, the Assembly, thanks to the Muslim majority, illegally changed the Statute of the Commune (failing to abide by the prescribed procedure) by abolishing decision-making by a two-thirds majority and introducing decision-making by a simple majority on all issues falling within the purview of the Assembly. This made it possible for the Serbs to be outvoted in respect of all questions and for decisions to be adopted to satisfy the interests of the Muslims.
The mentioned Avdija Šabanović behaved particularly arrogantly in the Assembly. He levelled threats at the Serbs and cursed at them while telling them that they should toe the line and behave as they were told or else go to Serbia and there do whatever they felt like.
The Public Security Station headed by the Muslim Ševal Murtić provided only meager, vague information playing down the Muslim provocations of and assaults on Serbs, which information was then adopted by the Assembly thanks to the Muslim majority to the detriment of Serbs.
When the Assembly discussed the interception of military personnel carriers by the Muslims in September 1991, the Muslim deputies blamed journalists from Serbia for writing about it. Snežana Nešković, a deputy representing the Serbs, came out against this view. When she said that it had not been journalists that had intercepted the personnel carriers, she was verbally abused and attacked by Avdija Šabanović who told her to “take care” if anything at all should happen to his brother Murat Šabanović, “if ahair on his head was harmed" (the ringleader of many aggressive actions undertaken by Muslims in Višegrad).
At the initiative of the Muslims the Assembly embarked on a debate on the construction of a road to Žepa so that this area too could be connected toSanjak (the Rashka district in Serbia), i.e. with the "green transversal."
During the session of the Assembly, Murat Šabanović stood armed at the door, and later 15-20 of his men, armed with no less than machine guns and automatic rifles “secured” the Assembly building. This directly caused, in December 1991, the Serb deputies to leave the Assembly in which decisions were being adopted contrary to their will anyway.
In January 1992 the Serbs founded their own Assembly so as to organize their life under conditions of threats on the part of the Muslims.
Proof: Statements of witnesses No. 678/95-23 and 24, and SDP (Serbian Democratic Party) statement (279/95-24).
1.1.2. Towards the end of 1990 the Muslims’ intolerance of the Serbs became ever more manifest, involving numerous assaults, threats, provocations, maltreatment and physical attacks, and it escalated until the war broke out. The Muslims publicly displayed their chauvinistic feelings and accentuated their religious affiliation by wearing green clothes, brandishing Muslim flags and other religious emblems. In Medjedja and in other places they built new mosques, they established Muslim schools in villages and organized religious instruction.
An increasing number of Muslims started to wear fatigues and caps with golden lilies on them.
Aggressive Muslim groups increasingly used arms to intimidate Serbs or directly attack them. They went on shooting rampages in the town of Višegrad in a show of force. Being in fear for their lives, the Serbs went out in the streets seldom, especially women and children.
Immediately prior to the outbreak of war Muslims organized rallies for a sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina. Motorcades of taxi cabs and other cars with their horns blaring carried Muslim flags and had posters affixed on them "for a sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina".
The numerous attacks on Serbs shall be described in more detail.
Proof: Statement of witness No.678/95-23 and 24.
1.1.3. During the multiparty elections the Muslims also demonstrated their chauvinism. Thus Murat Šabanović with another three Muslims wrote in green oil paint “PDA democracy” at the entrance to the office building and on the doors in the corridors of the enterprise “Šumarstvo” (Forestry) in Višegrad. There was a marked change in the behaviour and style of dress of the Muslim population who increasingly wore green.
When in the spring of 1991 Stanko Pecikoza, of Serb nationality, tried to persuade the Muslims to let the passengers of a bus from Serbia get out, the Muslims set out to beat him. Kasim Ferić, a Muslim said: "Not a single Serb shall cross the Drina river ever again, fuck their Serbian mothers!
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos.678/95-5 and 9.
1.1.4. On December 14, 1990, the Muslims Ramo Kahriman and Senad Kahriman, without any reason or cause, physically attacked the Serb Stanko Peruničić, the production manager of the enterprise “Varda” in Višegrad, in his office. Ramo caught him by the head and hit him while Senad pounded him from the back and they inflicted light bodily injuries on him in the form of scratches and abrasions.
1.1.5. On January 21, 1991 in Višegrad, in the catering establishment called “AB”, Zahid Hurem, Kemal Hurem and Jasmin Smajić physically attacked the Serb Saša Radovanović from Višegrad. They hit him on the body with their hands and with bottlesand kicked him with their feet inflicting light bodily injuries.
1.1.6. On April 5, 1991, the Muslim Kemal Sadiković from Višegrad, in a drunken state, attempted to rape the minor D.S. of Serb nationality in his car, whom he knew from before and who boarded his automobile in the belief that she would come to no harm.
Proof: 279/95-44 and 673/95-16.
1.1.7. On St. George’s Day, May 6, 1991, Muslims erected barricades in a number of places in Višegrad and manned various posts with guards. The witness Mladen Dragičević and several policemen went to inspect a number of spots to ascertain the situation, but the Muslims would not let them enter Dušče, Dobrun and Bikavac. Such actions on the part of the Muslims were organized by Avdija Šabanović (deputy president of the PDA in Višegrad and deputy to the Municipal Assembly) and his brother Murat Šabanović. In order to create an atmosphere laden with tension and provide formal justification for their moves, the Muslims spread the falsehood that Vojislav Šešelj with about 200 members of his Party had set out from Serbia towards Višegrad. The night between May 6 and May 7 was used to additionally arm the Muslims.
The witness later found out that this had been a trial mobilization of the Muslim Patriotic League - the Green Berets - a paramilitary organization.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 678/95-12, 22 and 24.
1.1.8. In the spring of 1991, in Višegrad, a group of Muslims pushed a drunken Muslim youth in front of Spaso Djurić, a Serb, as the latter was driving a taxi, so that Djurić barely avoided hitting the Muslim, and then they physically attacked him for ostensibly threatening the life of a pedestrian - a Muslim.
The recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Turkey was a very festive occasion celebrated by the Muslims of Višegrad. In that connection Spaso Djurić told a fellow taxi driver, Bahro Velagić, that war was much more likely than the creation of a single state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to which the latter replied: "I am now glad that I have got myself a Kalashnykov".
The Muslims would often say that they were the majority people and that the Serbs had no business being in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Proof: Statement of witness No. 809/95-6.
1.1.9. On June 14, 1991 members of the PDA blocked the Public Security Station in Višegrad. The assembled crowd of Muslims prevented the policemen from entering or leaving the building. Murat Šabanović and Zijad Subašić prevented the policeman Avdo Smajlović from standing guard in front of the entrance to the building. Grabbing his automatic rifle, they forced their way into the building with a group of Muslims. They demanded the immediate release of the Muslim Nermin Šišić who had been detained for interrogation because he had cut sections of old bridges and sold them at the junkyard.
Proof: 279/95-7 and 45 and 678/95-11.
1.1.10. In mid-1991, in Dušče near Višegrad, Muslims belonging to the group led by Murat Šabanović intercepted a bus operated by the “Raketa” transport service from Užice and beat up the driver and several passengers. They also threatened them with the weapons they were holding. The driver was incapacitated for further work sothat another one had to be called from Užice to take over.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 552/94-3, 678/95-22 and 23 and 673/95-22.
1.1.11. The Serbs in Višegrad and in the entire former Bosnia and Herzegovina were particularly upset by the vandalistic demolition of the monument to the Serbian Nobel Prize laureate writer Ivo Andrić by the Muslims on July 1, 1991 around 5 p.m. at Liberation Square in Višegrad. The monument was torn down by a group led by Murat Šabanović following instructions from the PDA (Murat Šabanović is the brother of Avdija Šabanović, vice-president of the Party of Democratic Action for Višegrad).
Šabanović severed by a sledge hammer a part of the head and a chunk of marble of the monument which he then threw into the Drina river. He then pushed the rest of the monument down while the others were securing the scene. Fadil Hajderbašić recorded the event with a movie camera and the videocassettes were later sold.
This action was preceded by vituperative and insulting articles about Andrić in the Islamic paper "Vox" published in Sarajevo. The cover page of this paper showed a caricature of Andrić impaled on a pencil, an allusion to impalement on a stake, the typical Turkish way of killing Serbs during Turkish rule, which Andrić described in his books.
The text about Andrić by Nihad Kreševljaković was entitled “Ivo Andrić - the Marquis de Sade of Our Literature" with a caption: "What I have read, experienced and heard so far in Herceg-Bosna will suffice to call Andrić, who perhaps is a great writer, a petty man, a poisonous grain, a person who did not have even a modicum of love for his fatherland."
The text quotes articles from the paper "Bosanski pogledi" (Bosnian Views) from March 1961 stating that the books "The Bridge on the Drina" and the "Travnik Chronicles" were written solely for political and chauvinistic reasons, so as to attribute to the Muslims during Turkish times the crime of genocide and brutality and at the same time justify the crimes of the Chetniks committed on a massive scale against the Muslim population during the war.
Andrić is ascribed historical falsehoods about Bosnia and showered with the worst of abusive language. ("can it really be that the beautiful, endearing and peaceful Bosnia engendered such a blackguard?)"
Before this incident professor Muhamed Filipović had stated that Ivo Andrićhad done more harm to the Muslims in Bosnia than any army that had ever run through its territory.
Proof: 203/95 and 279/95-32 and 33.
1.1.12. In the second half of July 1991 Avdija Šabanović came to the office of the witness in the enterprise “Šumarstvo” in Višegrad and first reprimanded him for having said that he - Avdija and his brother Murat Šabanović had demolished the monument to Ivo Andrić in Višegrad and then added that the Muslims accounted for 70% of the city’s population and that he had better "keep his mouth shut or else", and also that there was hajduk (brigand) blood in his family.
To the witness’ comment that their behaviour towards the Serbs was ustashi-like, Šabanović replied “I am an ustashi and proud of it. I have killed and I will kill”. He threatened the witness that he would kill him and that there would be no one to see it, and that then he would defecate on him.
The next day Murat Šabanović came to the office of the witness and also threatened to kill him, saying that if he did not do it then and there that he would certainly kill him within 5 or 6 days, that he would gun him down with an automatic rifle, that he knew where his house was and that the witness was as good as dead.
When the witness reported this incident at the Public Security Station, the superintendent Murtić (a Muslim) promised personal security to the witness but did not say that any action would be taken against the attackers.
The witness was also harassed by telephone so that he had it disconnected for a while. He experienced all this as pressure, which other Serbs were also subjected to, to move out of Višegrad.
Proof: Statement of witness No. 678/95-5.
1.1.13. On July 27, 1991, in the village of Prelovo (where a memorial tomb of Serbs fallen in World War II is located), Muslims provoked a fight during a local football match. On that occasion they beat up the Serb Z.P.
Proof: Statement of witness No. 678/95-23.
1.1.14. On the eve of St Elias’ Day, on August 1, 1991, the group of Murat Šabanović intercepted in Višegrad two buses from Serbia with mainly women and children aboard, travelling to Montenegro, to attend a religious ceremony in the Monastery of Ostrog. Under the sweltering summer sun they kept the passengers inside the buses for seven or eight hours. Around 2,000 Muslims gathered around them, many of whom maltreated and showered abuse at the Serb passengers. They proclaimed the church flag the passengers were carrying a Chetnik one and tore it to pieces. Only in the evening did they let the passengers return to Serbia, not allowing them to proceed to their destination.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 678/95-22 and 23.
1.1.15. In August 1991 a leaflet was circulated among the Muslims in Višegrad stating: "It is obvious that we can no longer live at peace with the Serbs and that the crisis that we find ourselves in cannot be resolved as long as there is a single Serb living in our Republic. We therefore have to do everything in our power to get rid of them as soon and as efficiently as possible. Before we resort to the last argument - arms, we shall try to employ some subtler methods..." Twenty points followed the statement with recommended action for the Muslims. Inter alia: "Smash their car windows and the windows of their houses"; "Throw garbage on their doorsteps"; "Urinate in their entrance halls"; "Mark their houses or apartments"; "Write threatening graffiti on their houses or churches", and similar.
Proof: 279/95-21 and 673/95-5.
1.1.16. In their intimidation and persecution of Serbs, the Muslims of Višegrad were particularly aggressive in September 1991.
On September 20, 1991, Murat Šabanović and his brother Avdija Šabanović, leading a group of Muslims, erected barricades in the streets of Višegrad and intercepted a column of military vehicles and personnel carriers as well as other vehicles. Avdija Šabanović intercepted a mixer truck, sent the driver out and blocked the road with the vehicle.
A large number of Muslims assembled around the vehicle. They cursed at the soldiers and threatened them. Ermin Velagić dragged one of the soldiers towards the assembled crowd as Murat Šabanović pulled at the soldier’s automatic rifle trying to wrest it away from him and when some policemen tried to stop him he cocked his pistol and pointed it at them.
Avdija Šabanović stopped a bus with Čačak license plates, transporting children, seized the keys from thedriver and prevented him from proceeding.
A vehicle in which was Ž.Š. was stopped in the street. Murat Šabanović grabbed Š. by the hair and dragged him out of the vehicle and then another Muslim hit him with an object in the back of the neck sending him down on the ground, and then they kicked him in the loins. Š. sustained severe bodily injury for which he was treated at the hospital in Užice.
Murat Šabanović and Senad Kahriman drove the Serb D.R. down the road at gun point, but two policemen came to hisrescue.
Armed Muslims prevented the police from keeping law and order. Murat Šabanović and Senad Kahriman, forced, at gun point, the policemen G.N. and H. K. to retreat towards the building of the Police Station.
Proof: 279/95-8., 9., 11., 21., 36 and 43 and 678/95-22.
1.1.17. On September 20, 1991, in Višegrad, Avdija Šabanović intercepted a freight vehicle of the Public Utilities Enterprise in Višegrad driven by R.M. from Koritnik, cursing at M. and calling him a “Chetnik”. He opened the door and pounded M. with his fists. Then Murat Šabanović ran up to the vehicle and dragged M. outside and then a number of Muslims beat him up. M. sustained injuries including abrasions of the ear.
Several days after this incident, waving a Serbian flag on fire, Muslims went around shouting that "that is how they would throw Chetniks and Serbs into the Drina river". One of them brandished a broken bottle neck shouting that that was his weapon with which to slaughter the "Chetniks".
Proof: Statement of witnesses Nos. 279/95-36 and 678/95-6 and 279/95-9.
1.1.18. On September 23, 1991, in Dušče near Višegrad, Murat Šabanović and another four Muslims physically attacked the Serb M.Ć., who had protested against the erection of barricades on the road, and inflicted severe bodily injury on him fracturing his ninth left rib and causing contusions on various parts of his body. Šabanović hit Ć. with the butt of his automatic rifle, sending Ć. to the ground and then the whole group fell upon him and pounded and kicked him.
Not far from the scene were a number of policemen and when one of them told the attackers “to leave the man alone”, Šabanović cocked his automatic rifle and pointed it at the policemen.
According to the allegations of the Public Security Station in Višegrad as well, Šabanović had been carrying an automatic weapon during the incident, but the police did not seize it from him, although the possession and carrying of such weapons constituted a criminal offence according to the then valid Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Article 213.) This detail illustrates that the Muslims had already been armed at the time and that the authorities accepted that fact as perfectly normal.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 552/94-3 and 673/95-22 as well as document 279/95-42.
1.1.19. In connection with the developments from September 20 to 23, 1991, meetings were held in Višegrad on September 25,1991, between the public prosecutor in Sarajevo and the prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Višegrad, the head of the Security Services Centre, the head of the Public Security Station and the president of the Municipal Assembly of Goražde. The records from these meetings show that no criminal or misdemeanor action had been brought against any of the perpetrators in relation to events that had taken place shortly before and that the Public Security Station was awaiting for a working group of the Ministry of Internal Affairs from Sarajevo to arrive and extend it assistance.
The head of the Public Security Station, Ševal Murtić, said that it had been assessed in respect of a number of incidents that no action should be taken in order toprevent "the people from rallying".
The representative of the Executive Board of the Serbian Democratic Party assessed that the judges dared not try Murat Šabanović and also that no one dared testify against him. The Executive Board of the SDP demanded that Šabanović be remanded in custody in connection with the demolition of the monument of Ivo Andrić, but to no avail.
It was concluded at a meeting held with the president of the Municipal Assembly, Cocalić, that it was to be established whether conditionsexisted to remand in custody the persons who had taken part in these events, especially those who had been convicted before. It was also generally stated that there must be observance of the rule of law.
Neither Murat Šabanović, nor anyone else belongingto his group were ever detained in connection with the mentioned or any other acts of violence.
All this clearly shows that the authorities in Višegrad, the key offices of which were held by Muslims, actually did not want to take any serious action against the aggressive acts of the armed group of Murat Šabanović, comprising also his brother Avdija Šabanović, the vice-president of the PDA in Višegrad and a deputy to the Municipal Assembly, namely that the acts of violence against the Serbs were deliberate, in collusion with the authorities, designed to exert pressure on the Serbs to force them to move out. It is only thus that the ostensible dilemma to the effect of specific requirements having to be met for remanding in custody persons persistently committing criminal acts of violence can be explained.
1.1.20. The group of Murat Šabanović comprised about 50 well-armed Muslims who received their salaries through the PDA from moneys made by enterprises whose managers were Muslims. As for food and other articles, they got this free of charge from the retail outlets of the “Klas” enterprise.
When D.G. found a member of Murat Šabanović’s group taking a 50 kilogram sack of sugar from the “Klas” store without paying, the shopkeeper told him that he would deduct the cost of the sugar from the salary of the alleged customer. When G. asked to buy asack of sugar himself, the shopkeeper offered him only one kilogram.
A rapid paging and assembly system had been organized for the members of Šabanović’s group via the city’s Muslim taxi drivers, and Zijo Lipa was in charge of liaison with the cab drivers.
Taxi drivers were very active in PDA actions. After they returned from a Muslim event in Foča in 1991 to which they had been driving the participants, Murat šabanović sent all the drivers to the Municipal Hall to be given fuel.
Proof: Statements of witnesses 678/95-23, 673/95-22, 552/94-3 and 809/95-6.
1.1.21. Endangered as they were, the Serbs from Višegrad fled en masse to Užice, a neighbouring town in Serbia. To put an end to this exodus, on September 24, 1991, the refugee Serbian families from Višegrad which had found shelter in Užice addressed in writing the Municipal Assembly of Višegrad, the Secretariat of the Interior and the political organizations of Višegrad requesting them to prevent terrorist actions by PDA members against Serbs in Višegrad.
1.1.22. In the night between September 1 and 2, 1991, members of the PDA broke into the premises of the Secretariat for National Defence of the Commune of Višegrad, cracked open all the safes and took away the military documentation from them. Fikret Cocalić - the president of the Municipal Assembly of Višegrad - said in a statement for the local paper that it had been “the people” that had taken away the documents and that he agreed with it.
Only at a meeting with the high Public Prosecutor from Sarajevo, on September 25,1991, devoted to the events of September 22 and 23, 1991, did Cocalić promise that the documentation would be returned.
The documentation was returned three months after it had been seized, but even then it was not accessible to the Serbs (it was held under lock and key by a Muslim officer of the Secretariat of National Defence, a PDA member).
Proof: 279/95-28, 49 and 50.
1.1.23. On October 7, 1991, a large group of armed Muslims blocked the entrance to the Public Security Station in Višegrad while Avdija Šabanović was being interrogated in it. Senad Kahriman, showering abuse at the policemen, threatened to blow up the building if Šabanović was not released, and then fired a number of shots two of which hit the Public Security Station building. Šefko Košuta also threatened to kill the policemen and to blow up the building.
Esad Muslić ripped with a knife the tyres of an official police vehicle, and Abdulah Čelik removed the hub caps from the tyres of official police vehicles and urged the citizens to attack the policemen. Murat Šabanović fired a number of shots from his automatic weapon.
The memorandum the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Višegrad sent to the Attorney-general’s Office in Sarajevo, dated October 9, 1992 (signed by the prosecutor Šahin Muhić, a Muslim) stated that Avdija Šabanović had not been summoned for an informative interview according to standard procedure before having been brought in, and that he was served the summons only after that. It also stated that “Murat Šabanović from Višegrad and several of his fellow-minded companions opened fire from automatic weapons”, but the wording of the memorandum did not warrant the conclusion that there had been anything illegal or dangerous in the fact that Šabanović and his “fellow-minded companions” possessed automatic weapons although the possession of automatic weapons constituted a criminal offence according to the Criminal Code of Bosnia in Herzegovina then in force (article 213), so that the immediate and obligatory measure should have been the seizure of such arms, followed by the institution of criminal proceedings.
Proof: 279/95-12 and 673/95-1.
1.1.24. On November 22, 1991 Zahid Hurem stopped the Serb M.M. in the street in Višegrad pointing a gun at his head. He caught him by the epaulet on his army uniform and asked him what he needed that for. M. swore and wrested himself away and sought refuge in a nearby restaurant, but Murat Šabanović, Zahid Hurem and another Muslim found him there and all three pointed their pistols at his head. They ordered him down on his knees and then hit him with their pistols until he collapsed, blood streaming down his body.
Mubekir Tabaković joined the attackers, put a pistol to M.’s stomach and took all the money he found in his shirt pocket (US $ 30, DM 50 and some dinars).
M. was attended to at the first aid medical station.
The next day M. went to see the commanding officer of the Police Station, Podžić (a Muslim), who asked him more questions about his participation in the war in Croatia than about the incident ofthe day before, showing in fact no willingness to take any action in earnest (he said that "things would be taken care of").
Proof: Statement of witness No.678/95-18 and document 279/95-13.
1.1.25. In 1991 the "Ivo Andrić" Library in Višegrad was evicted from its premises at the order of its then director Enver Jašarević, a member of the PDA. The premises were then leased to Zaim Kustura, a member of the Executive Board of the PDA in Višegrad, to set up a private business.
1.1.26. Although the village of Prelovo was predominantly inhabited by Muslims, the majority of the elementary school teachers in the village were Serbs because the Muslim teachers found employment and were transferred much more easily to vacant posts in the elementary school in Višegrad.
In the beginning of 1991 an abrupt change in the behaviour of the pupils and their parents towards the Serb teachers in the school became evident. The pupils’ parents spread around lies, for instance that the teachers beat their children, ripped off their neck chains with crescent pendants, etc. Two Serb teachers were forced to shave off their beards as all Serb teachers were designated "Chetniks". Some Serb teachers were accused of having taken the children on an excursion to visit the monasteries in Serbia and forcing the children to cross themselves on that occasion.
Irritated by these falsehoods and ungrounded attacks, S.V. used a vulgar expression at a meeting of the teachers’ faculty, which was used as a pretext to provoke a wholesale riot, so that the school was shut down for five days.
When the Serbian language teacher R.L. delivered a lecture on St.Sava as the first Serbian scholar and educator, as part of the curriculum, she was accused of catechizing and a veritable revolt followed in the Muslim villages, and at the insistence of the school principal a team of inspectors arrived from Sarajevo.
All this was part of the pressures exerted on teachers of Serb nationality to make them leave the school and the Višegrad area. This was only accentuated by the threats made by the Muslim Mehmed Lubarda, a junior classes teacher in the same school, who said that the ustashi would slit their throats.
Proof: Statement by witness No.809/95-4.
1.1.27. In 1991 the Muslims effected personnel changes in the Secretariat of the Interior department in Višegrad, placing their people in key positions. Thus Ševal Murtić was appointed superintendent of the Public Security Station and they tried to install Avdija Šabanović as commanding officer of the Police Station despite his having participated in acts of violence committed in the area of the commune, but the Serbs managed to prevent this.
In order to engineer further personnel shifts, the Muslims resorted to various pressures. Thus Murat and Avdija Šabanović with members of the Green Berets, uniformed and armed, fell upon the Police Station and held the workers inside under a blockade all day. People from the Ministry of the Interior in Sarajevo came and the Muslims demanded of them to make further personnel shifts.
After this incident, Ilijas Sumeska was appointed deputy commanding officer, and Milan Josipović - the deputy commanding officer until that day, remained unassigned with a specific duty. A number of Serb policemen were suspended from duty and only later, after strong insistence of the Serbs, were they returned to their positions.
In March 1992, Muslim policemen drove away in lorries belonging to the Ministry of the Interior weapons from the Police Station which they took out of the premises through the storeroom window. When the Police Station commanding officer Dragan Tomić saw them and asked them what was going on, they denied him entry into the storeroom. After this incident, all the Serb policemen quit their jobs at the Public Security Station.
In order to exert pressures on the Serbs and prepare to deal with them the Muslims established links along various lines. Thus for instance people who had never been there before started coming to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Višegrad to see the prosecutor Šahin Muhić. He also had meetings with Murat and Avdija šabanović, the main protagonists of organized violence against the Serbs.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 678/95-20 and 22 and 809/95-4.
1.1.28. Pressures were being brought to bear on the Serbs at their work places as well so that they would leave of their own accord or, if not, they would be served notice.
G.K., employed with the enterprise "Granit" was sent on a two-year paid leave, so as not to interfere with the Muslims’ manufacturing of explosive devices in the enterprise workshops.
When, in one of the workshops, on the table of the boss Haso Ferić, K. saw a bomb case filled with dynamite, complete with cap and fuse, one of the Muslims tried to convince him that it was intended for fishing.
S.M., of Serb nationality, was removed from her position as agricultural inspector, although she had a university diploma and was a good worker, and a Muslim was employed in her stead.
Towards the end of March 1991, D.G. stopped coming to work at the "Višegrad" hydro-electric power plant because of the threats he had been exposed to at work on the part of his Muslim fellow- workers.
Because of harassment and threats by the Muslims in the enterprise "Varda" where she was employed, S.N. also stopped coming to work.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 678/95-11, 23 and 24 and 552/94-4.
1.1.29. On the morning of December 15, 1991 the city of Višegrad awoke decked with Muslim nationalistic slogans, e.g.: "Long live Murat, SDP you will be wearing fezzes yet, long live the PDA, Muslims stick together - PDA - the Party of beloved Allah", etc.
Proof: Diary entry of witness No.279/95-21.
1.1.30. On January 12, 1992, Hasan Šabanija from Gornja Crnča killed the Serb Ranko Baranac in his house in the village of Bijela, shooting him from a pistol at close range, for no reason whatsoever, except that the victim was a Serb.
Šabanija was a guard at the DP "Panos" in Višegrad and carried an official gun; he came to Baranac’s house about 1.00 p.m. and was accorded hospitality there (he and the host had brandy and some roast meat). He committed the crime around 3.00 p.m., after Ranko’s wife had left the house on an errand.
Proof: 279/95-21 and 673/95-21.
1.1.31. The pressures exerted on the Serbs took various forms. Thus the Muslims of the village of Orahovica shut off every access path to the house and estate of M.Z., a Serb, on the pretext that they were fencing off their properties.
In the village of Koritnik, the Muslim Medo Kurspahić placed a large rock on the road in front of the entrance to the house of M.G., claiming that he needed it to block in place the wheels of his cart when the team of draft animals was resting.
Prior to the outbreak of war a meeting of Serbs and Muslims was held in the village of Koritnik. When M.G. said that the meeting was not in fact necessary, as there existed the authorities whose duty it was to handle the situation, Šemo Kurspahić replied that they - the Muslims - were the authorities and that the meeting was only supposed to make life easier for the Serbs in the sense of making it easier for them to get used to living under Muslim rule.
M.G., in whose house the meeting was held, offered his guests some brandy, which offer Šemo Kurspahić turned down in vulgar language. Kurspahić forbade the Muslims to have any, adding that the time would soon come when not even the Serbs would be allowed to drink brandy (alluding to the establishment of a Muslim state in which the consumption of alcohol would be forbidden).
Proof: Statement of witness No. 678/95-23.
1.1.32. Before the war broke out, B.K. set out from Dobrun in his car together with the Muslim Muhić, nicknamed “Madjar”(the Hungarian). As they talked, K. asked Muhić what was going on and the latter replied that the time had at long last come to see who ruled the roost.
Returning from the village of Bogolica, K. met the Muslims Edo Mutapčić and Husein Hajdarević and Hajdarević told him: “All this will be ours, and as for you Chetniks, we will slaughter the lot of you".
On another occasion, during a chance meeting, Hajdarević asked K: “Why did you not show up last night so that we could kill you off?” Hajdarević was referring to a meeting the Muslims had organized ostensibly to reach agreementwith the Serbs.
Proof: Statement of witness No.678/95-12.
1.1.33. Somewhere around mid-March, 1992, in Dušče, a group of about 15 armed Muslims intercepted M.K. who was transporting hay on a freight vehicle, and with whom was also R.T. from Višegrad. Theydragged T. out of the lorry and placed him against a wall saying that they would shoot him. They swore at both of them, cursing their Chetnik mothers, threatening that in retaliation for a single Muslim hair they would slit the throats of 500 Serb children, and similar.
They also forcibly dragged K. out of the vehicle while Bemirović, called “Šejtan” hit him repeatedly.
They searched the lorry, allegedly looking for arms, and broke and damaged parts of the vehicle (indicator lights, the cab, etc.). They took from both Serbs their pistols for which they had regular permits.
This attack was carried out by Murat Šabanović’s group comprising Senad Kahriman, Abdulah Kahriman, Zahid Hurem and others.
When K. filed action against the perpetrators of this attack, the head of the Public Security Station Ševal Murtić ridiculed him showing no intention of doing anything at all.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 552/94-3, 673/95-22 and 678/95-17.
1.1.34. On March 23, 1992, an armed group of Muslims led by Murat Šabanović erected barricades in the streets of Višegrad and stopped the passenger vehicle driven by M.J. from Višegrad. M.Jv. was also in the car. As M. Jv. sat in the car, Murat Šabanović whacked him on the head with the barrel of his machine gun, drawing blood. Then Šabanović ordered both of them out of the car saying that they were “Chetniks" and that M.J. was "loaded with bombs". Once out the vehicle they beat them both up: they pounded M. Jv. with their fists and kicked him until he fell and they hit M.J. on the head, in the eye, with the pistol they had found on him.
M.J. started running and Senad Kahriman grabbed him by the jacket and tore it off him and then tripped him so that M.J. fell; Kahriman then kicked him twice in the loins and hit him with his rifle in the back of the head causing a swelling. M.J. got up and started running again and they shot at him and threw a bomb after him.
M.Jv. somehow managed to drag himself to the parked lorry which he had been driving before he boarded M.J.’s vehicle, and Šabanović tried to stop him shooting at the windshield and the windows. Senad and Abdulah Kahriman also opened fire at him. As he passed the house of Meho Hodžić someone fired a pistol at the truck from inside the house.
M.J. reported the incident to the Public Security Station in Višegrad but no action was taken. The doctors at the Višegrad hospital would not admit him so that he was extended medical assistance in Užice.
Before this incident, Murat Šabanović had said, in the presence of the witness Joksimović, that in a matter of a couple of years Višegrad would be rid of Serbs, and also that no one would dare say that he was a Serb.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 552/94-5 and 678/95-9.
1.1.35. Safet Smajić, who had sued his enterprise "Varda" for having been dismissed from work, threatened S.N. (she was representing the enterprise) that he would kill her, throw a bomb at her, and then join the "Zengas"; he often harassed her by telephone and similar.
Proof: Statement of witness No. 678/95-24.
1.1.36. At the end of March 1992, after the rehauling was completed of the hydroelectric power plant "Visegrad", in the kitchen of the plant, the witness D.G. told the Muslims who were present, among whom was also Emir Avdim, director of the plant, that they should influence their leaders so that the maltreatment of Serbs might stop and relations improve, and Mirsad Nalo responded that he had better "take care" because he - Nalo - "was keeping track" of every step the witness made (he lived across the street from the witness) and that G. would be killed if he made "a wrong move". G. asked what would happen to his family, and Nalo replied that he would kill the children and take his wife away to a harem, since their state would be based on Sharia law.
Two days later G. stopped coming to work, having learned about a Muslim list of Serbs who would be liquidated and which list included his name also. The mentioned Nalo was to liquidate him. The group of Murat Šabanović was in charge of liquidating all the Serbs on the list.
Proof: statement of witness No. 678/95-23.
1.1.37. At the beginning of April 1992, in Višegrad, near the “Mezalin” inn, M.G. saw that Avdija Šabanović had a switch-blade knife and he asked him what he needed it for. Šabanović replied that he was going to circumsize “Vlachs” (derogatory for persons of other religion) with it. Another Muslim who was present - Derviševim - said: "Give it to me so I can circumsize a Vlach" (referring to the present G.).
Proof: statement of witnesses Nos. 552/94-14 and 678/95-16.
1.1.38. At the beginning of April Avdija Šabanović met Novak KrivaFevim and cursing Serbs all the time and mentioning Karadžim said: “There are 30% of you Serbs in Višegrad, you all voted for him, so let him help you now”. Angry and incensed he added that he had a list with about fifty Serb names whom he personnally would kill, and that N.K. was also on it. He continued threatening: "I shall slaughter you all and if even one Muslim loses his life not a single Serb will leave the Višegrad spa alive". For N. he said that he would first cut off her tongue and then throw her down from the fifth floor.
Proof: statement of witness No. 678/95-2.
1.1.39. On April 5,1992 in the village of Jagodina, G.K. was stopped by several armed Muslims, including Avdija and Murat Šabanović. Murat put the barrel of his pistol to his head saying he could hardly wait to kill him, and Avdija said that it was never too late, that he could kill K. whenever he liked.
They talked about taking some older Serbs hostage, but they gave up this idea.
When K. returned to Višegrad, his flat had been ransacked and all the valuables taken away.
Proof: statement of witness No. 678/95-11.
1.1.40. The authorities in Višegrad, where Muslims held all the key posts, took no measures in earnest against Muslims who incited riots and physically and in other ways attacked Serbs, threatening their very survival in that area. Even when certain action was initiated against the perpetrators of such acts it was done only formally.
The report of the Main Public Prosecutor’s Office in Višegrad on work in 1991, signed by Šehin Muhić (a Muslim), states that no criminal charges were pressed for the criminal act of illicit possession of weapons or explosives pursuant to article 213 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that no proceedings were instituted for this criminal act.
The same report, in another context, mentions the event which took place on October 7, 1991, when Murat Šabanović fired bullets from an automatic weapon.
The report states that the investigation against Murat Šabanović for the destruction of the monument to Ivo Andrić was not completed (act committed on July 1, 1991), because of the total of seven proposed witnesses three remained to be interrogated. In addition, according to the report, on July 17, 1992, the investigative judge passed a decision sending the defendant Šabanović for examinations and observation to the Clinic of Neurophychiatry in Sarajevo. It further states that the public prosecutor dropped charges against three of Murat Šabanović’s accomplices and that the investigation had been terminated.
Thus the investigation related to an event which took place in broad daylight in the main square in Višegrad, in the presence of numerous people, just managed to establish, over a period of six months, that there was no proof for Šabanović’s accomplices and the issue of Šabanović’s participation in the act remained open - until another three witnesses were heard.
1.2. THE ARMING OF THE MUSLIMS AND THEIR PREPARATIONS FOR WAR
1.2.1. The arming of the Muslims in Višegrad started in 1990 and continued during 1991 and the beginning of 1992. Weapons were brought in from Croatia and Sarajevo and sold to Muslims. The following took part in procuring and selling arms: Ramiz Vazda, Murat Šabanović, Avdija Šabanović, the brothers Mešanović (owners of an inn in Kalati), Tahir Šuško (director of the “Žito” enterpise), Esad Ohranović, the brothers Derviševim, Fejzo Šabanija, Zijo Subašić, the brothers Čekim, Enes Medjuselac, Sead Velim “Hodža” who had a private store in the Cultural Center in Višegrad and others.
Esad Ohranović was the president of the Executive Committee of the Communal Assembly of Višegrad and weapons were distributed in his house.
The weapons were brought in under the guise of goods whose circulation was allowed. They were delivered by truck from Croatia in cement sacks. Ramiz Vazda procured a certain quantity of weapons in bolts of cloth.
In December 1991, Momir Glibim saw a group of Muslims coming out of a mosque carrying raincoats or jackets over their arms under which the barrels of guns protruded.
In March 1991 a truck carrying arms arrived to Medjedja, and they were sold by the Šabanović brothers.
Proof: statements of witnesses Nos. 552/94-14, 678/95-4 and 16.809/95-1 and 2 and 279/95-37 and 38.
1.2.2. On September 26, 1991 in Višegrad, the police found two explosive devices made of coca-cola cans lined with insulating tape, with a detonating fuse 10 cm long and a small "Rambo" knife on Enver Fejzim and two pistol clips with ten bullets on Sabahudin Derviševim.
1.2.3. In January 1992, in Višegrad, a number of Muslims including Murat Šabanović, broke into the flat of the late Radojka Krsmanović. Memo Isim moved into the flat and weapons and ammunition were brought there. Various uniformed persons (in green uniforms and green berets) also used to come there.
Proof: statement of witness No. 678/95-11.
1.2.4. At the beginning of 1992, in Višegrad, Nurko Derviševim with Himza Bajramović cut through the wall of a residential building so that he could pull out weapons from his flat. They would not let the police enter the building and investigate.
1.2.5. In the house of Šamir Mezeldžim there were stored about 2,000 liters of petrol in bottles and other vessels of a 1-2 liter capacity, prepared for blowing up Serb houses and Serbs found in them.
1.2.6. There is also written evidence of the arming and military organizing of the Muslims before war broke out.
There is a special list (typewritten) with the names of the members of the Crisis Headquarters, the commander and members of the Crisis Headquarters of the village of Bijelo Polje (Višegrad) and of sixteen platoons and their commanders.
Above the part of the list referring to platoons is the heading "The organizing of the citizens of Bijelo Polje" indicating that the list was made prior to the outbreak of war.
On the back side of the last page of the list it was added by hand, at a later date, which platoons form part of which detachments and the names of the detachment commanders. The commander of the company and his deputy are also listed.
The names of two detachment commanders have been crossed out and new ones entered (Muhamed Sumeska and Avdibegović) with the note April 3,1992, and beside Sumeska it says “instead of Torohan on April 3, 1992 and deputy detachment commander”. This clearly shows that the last additional entries to the list were made before the outbreak of war.
There are also lists showing the arming of Muslims in the villages of Jelašci, Donja and Gornja Brštanica and Barimo, as well as a list of a unit of boats of Barimo.
1.2.7. There are also lists of organized armed guards in groups of 3-4 in the settlements of Kosovo Polje and Sase (commune of Višegrad).
On the first page in the right upper corner it is written: "June 27, 1991" and below that "Meeting at 9.00 p.m. at Adil’s house", followed by lists of guards and their assignments.
It also gives the name of the sole person (Medo Kulović) authorized to inspect the guard, and the obligatory password “Kosovo” (password) and “Karika” (reply). Italso contains instructions to the guards regarding caution.
1.2.8. For a number of villages there exists a special list of "combat-fit people who do not possess weapons":
Hranjevac (13), Šabanije (9), Palež (16) Čakari (17) and Crni Vrh (11). The list is signed by Hamid Šabanija.
A list of the soldiers of a unit in the center of Višegrad (56 members) also contains data on their weapons (26 automatic rifles, 9 machine guns, 7 telescopic rifles, etc.)
Proof: 279/95-3 and 4.
1.2.9. The PDA (Party of Democratic Action) had "defense" plans, a ramified information network - locally and up to Sarajevo, with lists of people in charge of these activities, as well as an aide memoire for those on duty in the PDA.
1.2.10. The reserve Muslim militia was also being prepared to fight against the Serbs, which can be seen from the minutes of a meeting in Dobrun. The discussions quoted in the minutes show that they are making preparations for war which has not yet started (a participant said: "when the first shot is fired"...)
There is a list of 169 Muslims from Dobrun to whom arms were distributred and which shows who responded and which weapon was given him (most often automatic rifles and revolvers, but there were also telescopic rifles). The weapons were distributed on April 7 and April 8, without indication of the year.
1.2.11. By the time the referendum for secession from Yugoslavia was held, the Muslims in B&H had attained a high level of organizational and military mobility.
The "Aide Memoire for the holding of the Referndum" found in Višegrad lists the following measures:
"The highest level of alert (tailing) in respect of the SDP. Mobilization with arms, winter clothes and food (for several days).
The Ministry of the Interior must be mobile.
Physical protection of persons and facilities.
Control of accesses to military facilities."
Finally it mentions the activation of units and the "blocking" of communications.
1.2.12. Muslim preparations for war were carried out also through the Hunting Club in Višegrad. Before the conflict this Club had 431 active hunters of Muslim nationality. Of them 380 had hunting rifles, 43 hunting carbines and 280 both.
The admission of Muslims to the Hunting Club assumed the proportions of a campaign especially in 1990 (35) and in 1991 (48). Weapons were procured without difficulty against the approval of the police station in Višegrad.
On March 31, 1992, the Executive Committee of the Communal Assembly took from the "Drina" Hunting Club "as a temporary loan" four long-barrelled rifles and 4 small calibre rifles. These rifles were given to ten Muslims (Avdija Šabanović got a small calibre rifle).
Proof: 279/95-27 and 673/95-8 and 9.
1.2.13. Muslim preparations for war in Višegrad also included supply with foodstuffs and other articles and means necessary for waging war. The authorities, enterprises and various Muslim organizations were involved in these activities.
In its letter of March 26, 1992, the Muslim charitable society "Merhamet" asked its Main Committee in Sarajevo for aid in foodstuffs to be distributed during the "forthcoming auspicious days of Bairam".
In the commune of Višegrad Muslims formed a Crisis Headquarters and by an order of April 11, 1992 a War Presidency to replace the theretofore Crisis Headquarters. The Presidency consisted of fifteen members and was headed by Fikret Cocalić, the up to then president of the communal assembly i.e. president of the Crisis Headquarters.
At the beginning of April 1992, the following were taken from the "Šumarstvo" enterprise on the orders of the president of the Crisis Headquarters: 3 vests, one protective jacket, 400 liters of petrol and a "Lada" automobile.
The following were taken from the office of the market inspector: 17 kg of coffee, one "Levi’s" microphone and 8 "Sony" cassettes.
On the orders of the president of the Crisis Headquarters, Cocalić, a large quantity of food and other articles was taken from the “Megrakomerc” enterprise (270,000 kg of flour, 25,000 kg of salt, 20,000 l of cooking oil, 20,000 kg of sugar, 5,000 kg of macaroni, 5,000 kg of detergent).
Proof: 279/95-15 and 673/95-10 - 14.
1.2.14. In letter No.428/92 of February 19, 1992, the Council of Elders of the Islamic Community of B&H sent an appeal to all imams in its territory "in connection with the referendum on a sovereign and independent Bosnia and Herzegovina".
The appeal in a dramatic fashion invites all Muslims to turn out at the referendum and vote for an independent and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina - "for their future and the future of their religion, for Islamic democracy and freedom..."
The appeal inter alia reads: "Our Republic is facing the most fateful moments in its history... Since this is the time to be or not to be for Bosnia and Herzegovina and especially for the Muslim people we appeal to all Muslims to demonstrate a high level of awareness and responsibility and all turn out at the referendum. If we fail to pass this test, not for a long time will history give us another chance for a remedial exam."
1.2.15. The idea of a Muslim state, based on Islamic law was used to incite Muslims to fight, drawing on the powerful influence of Islam on its believers. To create an illusion of the moral justifiability and necessity of struggle, members of other nations and religions were represented as aggressors, since the Koran forbids aggressive warfare, while defensive war is justified and approved. Muslims may not be the attackers, but they are recommended to defend themselves against attackers and aggressors.
"Khoja inscriptions - suras from the Koran" were later found on killed and imprisoned Muslim soldiers.
The documentation of the Committee contains texts in Serbian and Arabic which first present claims on the dangers facing the Muslims and the necessity of their struggle, corroborated by quotations from the Koran, such as:
"The wards of Allah should fear nothing, rue for nothing and be afraid of nothing".
"Those who believe in Allah and the other world and do good deeds: Let them fear nothing".
"Allah will certainly bring together in Hell hypocrites and infidels."
"Allah’s party will surely win (beat other parties)."
"Fight against all infidels (against your enemies): as they fight against you."
"Against them .. prepare as much strength and horses for battle as you can..."
"They will constantly fight against you to subjugate you and deter you from your faith".
"Those fighting on Allah’s path (for freedom) and get killed or win shall be abundantly rewarded by us".
"Know that heaven is earned by victory over the enemy".
"Allah loves those who fight on his path..."
1.2.16. The Party of Democratic Action together with representatives of the Islamic religious community also organized Muslims and prepared them for war at various meetings. Thus in the village of Kaoštice, PDA members met in the house of Hair Džaferović, in the village school and also occasionally in the mosque. For the lower part of the village of Kaoštice the main organizer of meetings was the khoja Arif Sofović.
1.2.17. The mobilization of Muslims around the idea of creating a Muslim state in the territory of the former Yugoslavia was also encouraged by a leaflet entitled: "Programme of Settlement of Bosniacs from Turkey".
The leaflet says that a vast number of Muslims from B&H and Sanjak is in Turkey, whence they fled before "the onslaught of Christianity", and that there are four million of them and their descendants in Turkey.
The "Programme" envisages the return of Muslims from Turkey in 10 "waves", 400,000 people each year. It specifies the places to which they will move, covering the territories of B&H, Montenegro, Sanjak and Šumadija.
Item 14 of the "Programme" states: "Afterwards, formal conditions would also be created for the establishment of an Islamic Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina which would... be much larger, i.e. would return to its natural borders". The time specified for the beginning of the implementation of the "Programme" is January 1992.
1.2.18. Members of Muslim armed forces from Višegrad planted explosives in the Orline tunnel on the Višegrad-Užice road on April 8, 1992, so as to sever connections between that part of Bosnia and Serbia.
Another tunnel, closer to Užice had been blown up earlier (September 19, 1991) by the Muslims, so as to prevent YPA soldiers to passthrough towards Croatia.
Proof: 279/95-34 and 40, 552/94-3, 673/95-22 and 678/95-11.
1.2.19. Striving to reinforce their positions in the forthcoming showdown with the Serbs, the Muslims in Višegrad established links with Muslims in the district of Rashka in Serbia (Sanjak) from whom they expected help.
For reconnaissance purposes Muslims from Prijepolje, Sjenica and other places in Rashka came to the villages around Višegrad, under the guise of hunting expeditions. Thus, in the autumn of 1991 they visited the villages of Dubovik, Duboka, Dobrun, Gostilja, etc. Sometimes they came in fatigues for training purposes.
In Avdo Hajderović’s inn in Dobrun they met with Avdija and Murat Šabanović. A large quantity of arms and ammunition was later found in Avdo’s house. Avdo’s son Ibro obtained a gun from a Muslim from Prijepolje.
In March 1992 a number of Muslims from the region of Raška came to the villages of Duboka and Dubovik to settle there permanently and take part in the fighting against the Serbs. They were brought by Avdija and Murat Šabanović and some other PDA leaders. They were billeted in village houses and Osman Marim was their leader.
In April 1992, at a meeting in the village of Kaoštice, Bajro Šisim was entrusted by Avdija Šabanija to travel to Rashka and rally Muslim volunteers to fight in the battles in Medjedja and Goražde. The volunteers were promised a reward of DM 200 for every Serb they killed.
Šisim, through his associates in Raška, magaged to form a group of six Muslims. At the swimming pool in Prijepolje, Ahmet Selimović took over the group to lead it to Medjedja. On the way the group was issued arms. With a view to carrying out his tasks more successfully, Selimović had two identity cards.
Proof: statements of witnesses Nos. 678/95-10, 12 and 16 and 673/95-20.
1.2.20. On April 8, 1992, the Presidency of B&H, by thencomposed only of Muslims and Croats passed a Decision proclaiming an imminent threat of war, and on April 9, 1992, a Decision on consolidating all armed forces in the territory of the Republic of B&H. According to the latter Decision: "armed formations and individuals, except YPA forces and Ministry of the Interior forces - operating in the territory of the Republic of B&H under different insignia and symbols - shall report to the communal, district and municipal territorial defence headquarters, for the purpose of being placed under a unified command and getting unified insignia". The deadline specified for reporting and registering was April 15, 1992.
According to this Decision, armed groups and individuals, failing to report and be subordinated to the command of the territorial defense headquarters shall be considered paramilitary formations.
In this way, under the decision of the Muslims and Croats in the B&H Presidency, passed on behalf of the Presidency, which could not, without Serb representatives, pass decisions binding for the Serb nation in B&H, any military organizing on the part of the Serbs for the purpose of defending their interests was proclaimed illegal in advance. A forced break with Yugoslavia was imposed on the Serbs, in the form of an independent and sovereign B&H, under the threat of military force, while their military resistance was outlawed ("paramilitary formations").
Telexes of the mentioned decisions also came to Višegrad.
Proof: 673/95-3 and 4.
2. CRIMES AGAINST THE SERBS DURING THE ARMED CONFLICT
2.1. Inhumane Treatment of Civilians and Prisoners of War
2.1.1. In the first half of April 1992, when the conflict was breaking out, the Muslims in Višegrad fired shots through the town, intercepted Serbs and beat them up. By loudspeaker they called the Serbs to surrender, threatened to kill them and set fire to their houses, saying that the Serbs had no chances whatsoever, because they - Muslims - had machine guns, mortars and hand mortars.
2.1.2. On April 11, 1992, armed Muslims, lead by the Muslim militia, attacked the Serb village of Nikitovići and took prisoner seven members of the Serb militia: M.D., S.L., N.V., N.K, R.R., G.M. and S.M. as well as five Serb civilians who were defending the village: N.N., A.N., I.Dj. and B.
They bound the prisoners’ hands behind their backs with wire and then tied them one to another and took them on foot towards Višegrad. On Rodim hill they pushed them in front of themselves as a live shield towards the positions from which Serbs were firing.
After arriving at Višegrad they were put into the cellar of the Public Security Station building. There, while they were still tied up, they were beaten by Meho Kasapović, a policeman. He beat his once colleagues policemen: S.L, N.V. and M.D. the most, kicking them in the back.
Enver Džaferović caught M.D. by the back of the neck and banged his head on the wall.
They were taken for interrogration where they were insulted, threatened and beaten. Policeman Hodžić told N.N. that none of the captured Serbs would ever again “see the light of day”.
M.D. and S.L. were kept in the building of the Public Security Station while the others with their hands tied and blindfolded were taken out of the building and under a shower of blows from nightsticks and fists, loaded on a van which took them to the storehouse of the “Žito” enterprise in Višegrad. They were also beaten when getting off the van, mostly by Nermin Šišić and a young man with the nickname of “Žumance”. Nedin Ustamujić, Nermin Šišić, a young man with the surname of Barimac, Ramić, Šuško Eniz and Bahto beat them the most.
The following day, at about 10.00 p.m. Avdija Šabanović, Zaim Hurem and a guard in the “Varda” enterprise, called Ćamil, came and told the prisoners that they were going to the place of Murat (Šabanović) where they would be skinned, circumcized, their fingernails pulled out and be slaughtered. R.N. fainted upon hearing these threats.
They tied their hands with wire, put them on a truck, tied them to the sides of the truck and drove them to the “Višegrad” hydroelectric power plant, where a large number of Muslims had gathered, including Murat Šabanović. The prisoners were cursed and
insulted, especially by Fahrudin Kadrić, called “Vatra”. R.N. lost a piece of flesh on his hand where he had been tied with wire tightened with pliers.
The prisoners were put in the machine hall of the power plant which is below the level of water in the lake. The floor was covered with water. M.D. and S.L. were brought to the same premises about midnight.
They had to stand in the water and could neither sit nor lie down. The air was saturated with steam and they could hardly breathe.
Zahid Hurem and Bemirović ordered the prisoners to cut one another’s hair, and then they too started shaving bald the heads of the prisoners. They made a cross on I.Dj’s head, and cut off S.M’s moustache with a pair of scissors.
They were taken out of the room and beaten. They beat S.L. for about half an hour with their feet, nightsticks and pieces of reinforced steel.
Sead Bemirović hit M.D. on the back with a piece of reinforced steel.
They kicked N.K. with their feet, beat him with their hands, rifles, a plank and a piece of reinforced steel. They knocked out two of his teeth and he had bruises all over the body. They took out their knives and threatened him. Taib Buragdžić took a broken bottle and threatened K. saying: “I did not slaughter your grandfather so I will slaughter you”.
The following day, on April 13, 1992, S.L. N.V., M.D., R.N., N.N. and S.M. were taken out for interrogation. They were questioned by Ilijas Sumeska and a young man called "Zenga". They were beaten with nightsticks and forced to sign some statements. Sead Bemirović, Ćamil Ramić and Avdija Šabanović who, with the barrel of his rifle, hit D. in the stomach many times, were especially cruel to the prisoners.
So as to give the imprisonment of the captured Serbs a semblance of legality, they passed decisions on detention for some of them without even mentioning the name of the criminal act they charged them with. Thus, the decision of the Višegrad Public Security Station of April 11, 1992, on the detention of M.D. only says that "he was caught committing a criminal act" without specifying the act itself or any facts indicating the existence of a criminal act.
In the afternoon of April 13, 1992, the prisoners were taken out to the Nezuci tunnel above the hydro electic power plant, and used as a shield towards Serb-held positions. Samir Šabanović cocked his rifle showing readiness to shoot them, but someone stopped him. After the water was discharged from the lake of the plant that day the were taken to Goražde. Dynamite had been planted under the bus they had been loaded on, but a Muslim removed it. On the way Alija Šabanović ordered the guards to kill the prisoners and dump them in the Drina river, but the guards would not do that. At Ustiprača the road had been severed and they did not manage to take the prisoners to Goražde. The Serb army liberated the prisoners.
1. Zijo Subašić, commander of a Muslim military unit,
2. Enver Džaferović,
3. Meho Kasapović,
4. Zahid Hurem,
5. Avdija Šabanović,
6. Taib Buragdžić,
7. Hodžić, a policeman from Višegrad,
8. Nermin Šišić,
9. Fahrudin Kadrić, called “Vatra”,
10. Sead Bećirević,
11. Ćamil Ramić,
12. Nedin Ustamujić,
13. Eniz Šuško and
14. Samir Šabanović.
Proof: statements of witnesses Nos. 678/95-1, 7,8, 13 and 22 and 279/95-31.
2.1.3. In mid-1992, two armed Muslims stopped L.Š. on the road near the village of Kuka (commune of Višegrad) and ordered him to take off a load of wood from his horse. They loaded the horse with their things and forced Š. to lead the horse towards the village of Kamenica. On the way they were joined by two other armed Muslims and they all spent the night in the village of Garež. Š. begged them to let him go but they refused.
The following day they came to a crossing on the Drina river in the place of Zlovan. There they had a short discussion about what to do with Š. who again begged them to let him go, and one of them ordered him to get on the horse and run which he did.
1. Ramo Poljo, f.Omer,
2. Sead Šeim, f.Osman,
3. Juso Poljo and
4. Sead Šabanović, f. Hasib.
Proof: statement of witness No.809/95-3.
2.1.4. On July 9, 1992, the Muslim Territorial Defense Headquarters of Višegrad passed Order No.136/92 on the establishment of prisons in the territory of the commune of Višegrad.
The following were to be used as prisons:
1. Central prison - for "soldiers and other persons" in the place of Medjedja, "to house persons detained of freedom for over 10 days".
2. "Prison premises" in the places of Crni Vrh, Drinsko, Okrugla, Prelevo and Holijaci - for soldiers and persons deprived of freedom up to ten days.
The setting up of prisons and security of the premises was entrusted to the military police.
The security of the Central prison in Medjedja "and of all accompanying premises" was entrusted to the commander of the military police of Medjedja who was to be assisted in this by the commander of the battalion "16. maj" from Medjedja.
2.1.5. On August 8,1992, in the attack on the Serb village of Bursići, Muslim soldiers caught three women: Mk. K., Ml.K. and B.A. who had not managed to run away. Threatening and cursing them, they took them towards the village of Medjedja.
On the way, in Barice, a Muslim soldier "interrogated" Ml.K. asking her about the whereabouts of "Chetniks" and threatened to slit her throat. He told her to cross herself, because her "last day had come".
In Medjedja they put them in a room in the building of the Cooperative Center. They were held there until November 20, 1992, when they were exchanged. During the first three days they were given neither food nor water, and after that they got food once a day - a little bread and sometimes some soup, as well as drinking water, but not regularly. They slept on the floor without any blankets, lightly dressed. The roof was damaged so rain leaked into the room.
They had no conditions for maintaining personal hygiene. They could not wash their faces, comb their hair or change their clothes. They let them go to the toilet outside rarely so they had to use a bucket in the room in which they were.
They were taken out for alleged interrogation and questioned about the whereabouts of individual Serbs, and Ml.K. was asked about the place of "buried arms". During questioning they threatened to slit their throats and brought two Alsatians who snarled and barked at them.
When Mk.K. was being interrogated, the Muslim soldier Halil Gegić, beat her on the chest, right shoulder and back with his rifle butt and stomped on her in his booted feet. Mk. fainted during this maltreatment and beating.
Hamdo Muharemović beat Ml. K. all over the body with a nightstick, so that she was “black and blue” from the blows. This lasted some 20 minutes and she could not stand on her feet due to the injuries she had sustained. While Muharemović beat her, two soldiers held their rifles aimed at her.
On St. Krsto’s Day, September 27,1992, Hamdo Muharemović who was drunk beat all three imprisoned women with his hands, rifle butt and his booted feet. He put his rifle barrel to Ml.K’s head and fired, then pulled her by the hair and drew a knife over her throat as if to slit it, and then, dragging her by the hair threw her on the floor.
He tried to push his rifle barrel in Mk.K’s mouth, but he missed and flayed the skin under her neck. He pushed his rifle into B.A’s mouth and knocked out one of her teeth.
On August 17, 1992, the three imprisoned women were taken to the tunnel at Brodar on the road to Višegrad, inside which were Serbs who would not surrender. First they made B.A. take a message to the Serbs in the tunnel to surrender. Afterwards they made all three women go into the tunnel and they followed them. Shooting broke out and the women hid against the wall, and then they were taken back.
After this event, for seven consecutive days, armed Muslims took Ml.K. to the same tunnel, forced her to go inside and invite the Serbs to surrender. Once they told her to carry out a wounded man from the tunnel. She had heard he was from Užice and that his name was Novak, but he, severely wounded in the leg, would not let her carry him out of the tunnel, and when she went back, a Muslim soldier threw a bomb at the wounded man and killed him.
Due to the maltreatment and grave living conditions the health of the imprisoned women has been damaged. Mk. K. underwent surgery in the hospital in Užice.
1. Hajro Hanić, policeman from Višegrad,
2. Enes Lemezan, waiter from Medjedja,
3. Halil Gegić, from Medjedja,
4. Hamdo Muharemović, from Medjedja, f. Avdija,
5. Ekrem Muharemović.
Proof: statements of witnesses Nos. 440/94-5 and 552/94-13.
2.2. The Killing of Civilians
2.2.1. When war broke out Muslims in Višegrad started killing Serb civilians, carrying out their earlier threats which had become especially frequent immediately before the conflicts started.
When the Muslim army was withdrawing from Višegrad towards Goražde, on April 13, 1992, after the water was discharged from the lake of the “Višegrad” hydroelectric power plant, the lined-up Muslims were addressed by Murat Šabanović with the following words: “We are going further now. Those who cannot slaughter and kill Serbs leave the line”.
In the letter of Asim Muharemović, deputy commander of the Muslim batallion “16. maj” sent to the commander of the Territorial Defense Headquarters of Višegrad, July 18,1992 is specified as the date of “joint action for the attack from Žepa to Rogatica”, and the aim of the action is “to free as much territory as possible and to destroy thepersonnel and the MTS aggressor". Events proved that the destruction of "the personnel included the killing of Serb civilians - old people, women and children.
In the letter of Hajrudin Kurtalim, from the surroundings of Višegrad, sent from Goražde through the Red Cross to Ilija Gavrilović from Koritnik (Višegrad) - there is mention in disguised and sarcastic fashion of the rape of Serb women and the killing of Serbs - about “sleeping with Vlach women” in Goražde (“the real thing”) and “visiting” his birthplace and "leaving presents" ("which I hear you have found, which particularly pleases me"). At the end there is a P.S.: "My regards to everyone, and especially to those families who found my presents. Tell the others not to be angry, I will come again bringing a surprise for them too".
"The presents" are evidently the bodies of killed Serb civilians from the villages around Višegrad.
Proof: 678/95-22 and 279/95-1 and 6.
2.2.2. In the first half of April 1992, Muslims attacked the Serb village of Glavice and from firearms fatally wounded the unarmed civilian Mima Indjim, in the yard of the house of his son-in-law Gojko Djurić. Indjim died before medical aid could be extended.
Perpetrator: Huso Kuspahim, a policeman in Višegrad before the war.
Proof: statements of witnesses Nos. 678/95-19 and 809/95-6.
2.2.3. In the spring of 1992, armed Muslims in the place of Štitarevo (commune of Višegrad) killed the Serb civilian Nedjo Lindo from Trševina and wounded another man.
1. Mustafa Vilim,
2. Ćamil Karim,
3. Ramiz Cocalić and
4. Kurspahić, called “Car”.
Proof: statements of witnesses Nos. 809/95-1 and 673/95-2.
2.2.4. On June 9,1992 in the village of Vlahovići, at a place called KrFevina, Muslim soldiers shot the following Serb civilians: Dragomir Šimšim, born in 1945 and his wife Perka Šimšim born in 1941 from the village of Vlahovići. They fired at the victims in the village road, from close range. Many bullet wounds from firearms were found on the bodies of the victims.
That same day, in the same village, at a place called Kulinovo brdo, the Muslim soldier Ragib Hurem slit the throat of the Serb civilian Božo Šimšim, born in 1932, from Vlahovići. The body of the victim was found with slit throat, without the right fist and with stabs in the chest.
1. Hamdo Bajić, from Velika Gostilja, f. Asim and m. Mejrema.
2. Adil Šabanović, from Mala Gostilja, where he was born on November 27, 1972, f. Rifet.
3. Ragib Hurem called “Rapče” from Mala Gostilja, born on September24, 1960, f. Ragib,
4. Pojo Ramo, f. Omer, from Vlahovići,
5. Mirsad Bulatović, f. Šefik, from Vlahovići.
Proof: 133/95-6, 552/94-10, 440/94-35, 809/95-2 and 3.
2.2.5. In June 1992, during the attack on the Serb village of Zemljice Muslim soldiers killed Božo Vujkim, a Serb civilian about 65 years old on the threshold of his house and set fire to the village.
Perpetrators: Ešef Sibalo and other Muslim soldiers.
Proof: statements of the witnesses Nos. 809/95-1 and 678/95-19.
2.2.6. In mid-1992 in the village of Kozar, Muslim soldiers found Stoja Tomić in the house of her brother Ilija Kozarac and when she tried to flee wounded her and then took her so wounded along with them for a month and tortured her. They forced her to go escorted by a Muslim woman to the village of Petruša and bring all the family jewelry from her summer cottage (rings, gold coins, etc.) and give it to them. After that they slit her throat and left her unburied.
Perpetrators: Muslim soldiers.
Proof: statement of witness No. 678/95-15.
2.2.7. On July 21, 1992 in Kustur Polje Muslim soldiers opened fire at a passenger car type "Golf" with licence plates GŽ 584-00 which Željko Tasić from Bosanska Jagodina was driving from Užice to Višegrad. Tasić was hit in the head and his fellow-traveller Ivica Marinković from Užice, in the chest. Their injuries were fatal and they died on the spot. As the car turned over Lj. C. from Užice, who was also in the car, sustained injuries.
1. Mustafa Smajić from Donje Dubovo, born in Donje Dubovo on October 1, 1972, f. Sabrija, m. Mirsada,
2. Ragib Hurem, from and born in Mala Gostilja on September 24, 1960, f.Ragib.
Proof: Statements and medical report on post-mortem examinations of the killed - 133/95-3, 552/94-9 and 456/94-9.
2.2.8. On July 24, 1992 in Višegrad, Krajiških brigada Str. a group of Muslim soldiers shot dead the Serb civilian Ranko Samardžić from Višegrad. He was shot at close range as he was riding his bicycle on his way home. The victim had a piercing wound on the right side of the back of his head.
1. Kemal Isić, from Višegrad, born in Dobrun on October 4, 1957, f. Šemso.
2. Ibrahim Šuško, from and born in Višegrad on May 8, 1959, f. Smail.
3. Hasan Veletovac, from Višegrad, born on January 26, 1957 in Čengići, f. Himzo.
Proof: Statement and medical report on the external examination of the victim’s body - 133/95-10, 552/94-6, 456/94-5 and 440/94-27.
2.2.9. On July 22, 1992 Muslim soldiers surrounded in the village of Donja Lijeska the house of Radojka Rajak, born in 1928. When she appeared in the doorway, they shot at her from firearms and wounded her severely. Then, Ramiz Nuhanović walked up to Radojka and shot her in the head, killing her. A number of firearm wounds were found on the victim’s body.
1. Ramiz Nuhanović from and born in the village of Tusta Medj, on January 19, 1964, f. Ramo,
2. Nezir Mesić, from Višegrad, born in the village of Tusta Medj on May 29, 1949, f. Halil,
3. Himzo Velić, born on November 15, 1958 in the village of Hamzići, f. Sarija,
4. Nesib Nuhanović, from Gornja Crnča, born on February 12, 1958, in the village of Hamzimi, f. Hašim,
5. Ramiz Arnautović, from Višegrad, the suburb of Okolišta, born on June 26, 1950 in the village of Jelačići, f. Bajro.
Proof: Statements of witnesses and medical report on the cause of death - 133/95-7, 552/94-8, 456/94-3 and 440/94-30.
2.2.10. On August 1, 1992 Muslim soldiers, commanded by Ahmet Sejdić attacked the undefended Serb village of Jelašci, on the right bank of the Drina river, adjacent to the border with Serbia, and shot dead all Serb civilians who had not managed to escape, including children.
The following were killed:
1. Dragan Šušnjar, born in 1928
2. Slavka Šušnjar (f), born in 1930
3. Mile Savić, born in 1943
4. Petka Savić (f), born in 1945
5. Radomir Savić, born in 1949
6. Trivun Jeličić, born 1929
7. Sava Jeličić (f), born in 1920
8. Mira Jeličić (f), born in 1960
9. Vidoje Jeličić, born in 1982 (a minor)
10. Dragana Jeličić (f), born in 1984 (a minor).
The bullet-ridden bodies of the victims were found in or around their houses.
1. Ahmet Sejdić, from and born in Drokan (Višegrad) on January 2, 1960, f. Ibro, m. Zemka
2. Ibro Kabaklija, from Višegrad, born on November 25, 1967 in Kosovo Polje (Višegrad), f. Ahmet, m. Ifeta
3. Bakir Kabaklija, from and born in Višegrad on April 2, 1962, f. Salko and m. Behija
4. Nermin Kabaklija, from and born in Višegrad on January 14, 1966, f. Ahmet, m. Ifeta
5. Zakir Jamak, from and born in Kosovo Polje on May 4, 1969, f. Husein
6. Salko Kos, from and born in Kosovo Polje on February 4, 1951, f. Sulejman, m. Mula
7. Bajro Mehanović from Kosovo Polje, born in Sarajevo on October 1, 1949, f. Hadžo
8. Alija Džafo, from Brštenica, born on October 26, 1970, f. Avdija, m. Fadila
9. Sakib Čakir, from and born in Višegrad on July 17, 1957, f. Abid, m. Rasima
10. Adem Kos from and born in Kosovo Polje on November 26, 1958, f. Sulejman, m. Mula
11. Esad Jamak from Kosovo Polje, f. Avdo, m. Hafa
12. Rasim Čakar from and born in Zakrsnica on December 2, 1967, f. Asim, m. Safija
13. Alija Džafo from Višegrad, born on August 4, 1951 in Gornja Brštenica, f. Ibrahim, m. Šaha.
Proof: Statements of witnesses and record of in situ inspection: 133/95-1, 552/94-2, 440/94-36 and 40, 809/95-2, 456/94-1 and 279/95-6.
2.2.11. On August 4, 1992 in the Serb village of Zagradje, a group of Muslim soldiers killed the civilian Milan Kneževim, born in 1941 by first slaughtering him and cutting off his arms at the elbows and his legs at the knees, and then setting fire to the house in which he was. The semi-burned carbonized body of the victim with the limbs chopped off was found in the ash heap.
1. Ibro Kabaklija, called “Čimbur” from Višegrad, born on November 25, 1967 in Kosovo Polje (Višegrad), f. Ahmet
2. The brothers Vilim, Muslim soldiers
3. Menzilović, a Muslim soldier
Proof: 678/95-14, 133/95-8 and 456/94-2.
2.2.12. On August 8, 1992 members of the Muslim military unit commanded by Ahmet Sejdić, mounted armed attacks on the undefended Serb villages of Klisura, Adrovići and Bursići and killed Serb civilians who had not managed to flee. In the village of Klisura they killed the following:
1. Danica Kusmuk (f), born in 1931
2. Milorad Kusmuk, born in 1961
3. Miloš Kusmuk, born in 1965
4. Drago Kusmuk, born in 1954
5. Joka Vukašinović (f), born in 1914, and
6. Zoran Kojić, born in 1965.
They committed this crime by burning Danica Kusmuk in her house (her half-burned body was found near the cooking range), throwing a bomb on Zoran Kojić and shooting the other victims from firearms.
In the village of Bursići they killed the following:
1. Božana Ičagić (f), 92 years old,
2. Stanojka Ičagić (f), 57 years old, whom they locked in the house and then set the house on fire.
1. Ahmet Sejdić, from and born in Drokan on January 2, 1960, f. Ibro, m. Zemka
2. Enes Lemezan from and born in Medjedja on September 6, 1955, f. Rasim, m. Fata
3. Hajro Hanić, from Višegrad, born in Meremišlje on June 9, 1950, f. Smajo
4. Mehmedalija Šišić from and born in Bogdašić on January 2, 1975, f. Ismet
5. Halil Gegić, from Medjedja, born in Foča on April 22, 1973, f. Juso
6. Ismet Šišić, from and born in Bogdašić on February 8, 1936, f. Juso
7. Asim Dervišević from and born in Medjedja on March 14, 1963, f. Rasim
8. Hamdija Muharemović from and born in Medjedja on January 4, 1953, f. Avdija
9. Esad Džanko from and born in Džankimi on March 8, 1967, f. Beg
10. Halil Dervišević from Medjedja, f. Rasim
11. Nedžad Hurem, cab driver from Medjedja
12. Ekrem Sinotić from Višegrad
13. Dževad Šišić from Bogdašim
14. Dževad Muharemović from Medjedja
Proof: Statements of witnesses Nos. 133/95-4, 552/94-13, 456/94- 10, 440/94-5, 20 and 39, and 678/95-4.
2.2.13. On October 4, 1992 a group of Muslim soldiers killed the following Serb civilians in the village of Faljenovići:
1. Vasilije Vuković, born in 1928
2. Miljana Vuković (f), born in 1929
3. Milan Vuković, born in 1928
4. Desanka Vuković (f), born in 1932
The victims were shot in the back of the head at close range. Vasilije and Miljana were shot in the house and Milan and Desanka in the near-by woods. The bodies of the victims were found presenting piercing wounds in the head and Milan Vuković’s hands were tied behind his back.
Perpetrators: Muslim soldiers commanded by Ahmet Sejdić from Drokan, born in Drokan on January 2, 1960, f.Ibro.
Proof: Statements of witnesses and medical report on the external examination of the bodies of all four victims - 133/95-9, 552/94- 11 and 456/94-4.
2.2.14. On October 25, 1992 Muslim soldiers attacked the Serb villages of Kočarić and Paljevine. In the village of Kočarić they shot dead Koviljka Mirković in her yard. Piercing wounds were found on the back and back of the head of the victim’s body.
In the village of Paljevine they shot at Milka Zečević, as she was leading a cow headed for her yard. They hit her in the back and she died shortly afterwards from the wounds.
1. Ahmet Sejdić from Drokan, born in Drokan on January 2, 1960, f. Ibro.
2. Zaim Kustura from Višegrad born in Babin Potok on April 25, 1963, f. Islam
3. Osman Marić from and born in Babin Potok on December 19, 1944, f. Huso
4. Sejad Džafić from and born in Holijaci on October 30, 1957
5. Zijad Ćeško from and born in Kabernik on October 16, 1964, f. Hasib
6. Nurdin Džafić from and born in Kabernik on November 13, 1969, f. Nusret
7. Alija Kustua from and born in Donji Dubovik on October 24, 1927, f. Hamid
8. Senad Čančar from and born in Kabernik on January 5, 1969, f. Muharem
9. Memiš Čančar from Višegrad, born in Kabernik on December 7, 1950, f. Mustafa
10. Almir Čančar from Kabernik, born in Višegrad on September 19, 1968, f. Ejub and
11. Jasmin Čančar, from Kabernik, f. Ejub, m. Hajrija.
Proof: Statements of witnesses and medical report on the external examination of the bodies, Nos.133/95-12, 552/94-7, 456/94-6 and 7, 673/95-23 and 440/94-29.
2.2.15. On October 29, 1992 Muslim soldiers attacked the Serb village of Donja Lijeska shooting indiscriminately at fleeing civilians. On that occasion they killed the following:
1. Rada Tanasković (f), born on February 2, 1960. f. Milovan
2. Vlada Tanasković, born on April 22, 1965, f. Milovan and
3. Vladanka Tanasković (f), April 12, 1975, f. Milovan
They wounded Milja Tanasković from Donja Lijeska in the right side of the chest but she managed to escape (the three persons killed are her children).
1. Bekto, commander of the Muslim military unit.
2. Čančar, son of the bus conductor Čančar.
2.2.16. On January 21, 1993 during an attack on Serb villages, Muslim soldiers killed the following civilians who had not managed to escape: Soka Tešović, 63 years old in the village of Stražbenice and Desanka Vidaković, about 62 years of age in the village of Ćamice (the commune of Višegrad).
They first bound Soka Tešović with wire and led her through the village of Stražbenice to point out whose were some houses and other buildings which then they would set on fire, and then they took her back to her house, tied her with wire to the cooking stove and burned her together with the house.
As for Desanka Vidaković, the Muslim soldiers found her inside her house in Ćamice where they physically maltreated her and then shot her dead in front of the house.
1. Ahmet Sejdić, from and born in Drokan on January 2, 1960, f. Ibro and m. Zemka, commander of a Muslim military unit
2. Rašid Gušo from and borin in Drinsko on January 2, 1950, f. Šerfan
3. Zaim Kustura, called Hodža
4. Ramiz Nuhanović
5. Fajo Jelačić
6. The brothers "Fimbur" and "Liso"
7. Ibro Kabaklija from Višegrad on November 25, 1967, f. Ahmet
8. Ragib Sobo from Višegrad
9. Hamdija Bilić
10. Muhamed Šaćirović
11. Avdo Ahmetspahić from Višegrad
Proof: Statements of witnesses, medical report and the findings of the Health Center in Višegrad Nos. 133/95-2, 552/94-12, 456/94-8, 678/95-4 and 673/95-2 and 24.
2.2.17. In the spring of 1993 a group of Muslim soldiers shot dead the Serb civilian Milivoje Ristim near Štitarevo (the commune of Višegrad). They later said that Milivoje "had been dragged away by the Sjelina river and that he would never come back".
1. Sabrija Tabaković,
2. Nezim Cocalić,
3. Ramiz Gaković, and
4. Ismet Delibašić.
Proof: Statement of witness 809/95-1.
2.2.18. On July 27, 1994, in the village of Kaoštice (Višegrad), a group of Muslim soldiers opened fire at a passenger car in which the Serb civilians Zoran Tasić and Stevo Drašković from Višegrad were. Stevo Drašković (born on September 8, 1959 in Višegrad) who took several bullets, died behind the steering wheel, while Zoran Tasić was wounded in the back and he managed to escape.
The Muslim soldiers threw Drašković’s body out of the car and set the car on fire.
2.3. Killing of Prisoners of War
On October 16, 1992, the Muslim Army took the Meremišlje elevation point and captured nine Serb soldiers:
1. Mirko Rosić from Višegrad, born onJuly 29, 1967
2. Goran Tuševljak from Zrenjanin, born in 1963
3. Milan Tešević from the village of Ćamice, born in 1958
4. Marjan Marković from Višegrad, born in 1961 5. Duško Zarić from the village of Biljezi, born on April 27, 1968
6. Milutin Šijaković from Višegrad, born on March 7, 1955
7. Mira Šijaković (f), from Višegrad, born on August 25, 1949
8. Milisav Cvrkota from Rudo, and 9. Milivoje Stanojević from Višegrad, born on September 14, 1961.
The Muslim soldiers physically maltreated the prisoners and tortured them inflicting bodily injury on them and finally killed them. There are visible signs of torture and injuries inflicted on the victims while they were still alive:
1. Ahmet Sejdić from and born in Drokan on January 2, 1960, f. Ibro, m. Zemka, commander of a Muslim military unit
2. Zakir Jamak from and born in Kosovo Polje (Višegrad) on May 4, 1969, f. Husein
3. Zaim Kustura from Višegrad, born in Babin Potok on April 25, 1963, f. Islam
4. Bakir Kabaklija from and born in Višegrad on April 2, 1962, f. Salko
5. Medo Jelačić from and born in Jelačići on August 7, 1951, f.Huso
6. Muharem Samardžić from Višegrad, born in Barimo on July 20, 1959, f. Smail
Proof: Report of the Medical Commission of the Health Center in Višegrad and statements: 133/95-5, 552/94-1, 456/94-11 and 673/95-19.
2.4. Destruction of Property
2.4.1. Vast property damage, as well as human casualties were caused by the discharge of the water of the impoundment of the Višegrad hydro-electric power plant on the Drina river. This was done on April 13, 1992 by Murat Šabanović who had previously demolished the monument to Ivo Andrić in Višegrad. Murat Šabanović held the population of Višegrad and of other places downstream from Višegrad, in constant fear for a number of days threatening that he would blow up the dam.
Before this incident Murat Šabanović contacted Alija Izetbegović via radio. Šabanović threatened to blow up the dam to which Izetbegović replied: “Don’t do it Murat, until you really have to”.
On April 12, 1992 Šabanović received a cable message from the commander of the Green Berets of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sead Ahmetović, through the Višegrad Police Station. It read: “Blow up the Višegrad dam as soon as possible”.
It was impossible to damage the dam by an explosion to such an extent so as to cause a flood so that the water was discharged from the lake by lifting the shutters. The discharged water flowed at a rate of 6,000 cubic meters per second.
Before the water was discharged, the Muslims, who had been leaving Višegrad and the nearby village of Dušče en masse, begged the community and PDA leaders to prevent this from happening saying that all their property was in their houses and that they would have no place to return to. But, to no avail. And, after the water had been discharged and the screams of women and children crying for help were heard from the direction of the village of Dušče, the assembled Muslims again beseeched their leaders to stop the water and were told that it was Allah’s bidding.
The unbridled water caused vast damage. In the village of Dušče it demolished the bridge and around 20 apartment buildings, and damaged a part of the Višegrad-Pijavice road and some auxiliary structures. Most of the city of Višegrad was flooded and heavy damage was caused to apartment buildings and industrial facilities.
A number of women and children from Dušče were killed. The Muslims buried the victims of this calamity in Žepa (downstream from Višegrad) and later used this for their own propaganda ascribing these crimes to the Serbs.
Extensive damage was also sustained by structures downstream from Višegrad, especially the Bajina Bašta and Zvornik power plants which belong to the Power Authority of Serbia. Because of the threats of the Muslims and for security reasons, the staff of the plants resorted to the controlled discharge from the impoundments of these plants - before the water from the Višegrad power plant was discharged - and thereby avoided an environmental catastrophe.
From April 9-22, 1992 130 million cubic meters of water were discharged from the impoundment of the Bajina Bašta power plant, and around 73 million cubic meters of water from the Zvornik power plant, a total of 203 million cubic meters of water.
The damage to the Bajina Bašta power plant amounted to DM 3,948,301. Of that losses in the generation of electric power were 23,020,000 kWh, i.e. DM 3,453,000 - due to the discharge of water and the operation of the power plant with the reduced quantity of water over several days. The extra labour recruited, the engagement of outside contractors for designing and other works as well as other expenses account for the rest of the damage.
The damage to the Zvornik power plant amounted to DM 633,140 of which electric power production losses accounted for DM 618,150 and the rest were other types of damage.
The total damage sustained by the Power Authority of Serbia by this act was DM 4,581,441 and some of the consequences are yet to be felt in the future.
1. Murat šabanović from Višegrad
2. Sead Ahmetović from Sarajevo as the instigator.
Proof: 279/95-29 and 30, 265/95 and 678/95-22 and 23.
2.4.2 On July 26, 1992 during their attack on the Serb village of Donja Lijeska, Muslim soldiers set fire to the houses (and auxiliary buildings of): Radojka Rajak, Strajo Danojlić, Dragiša Trifković, Slavko Trifković and Aćim Trifković.
Perpetrators: As under 2.2.9 (killing of civilians)
Proof: 133/95-7, 552/94-8, 456/94-3 and 440/94-30.
2.4.3. On August 1, 1992 the Muslim Army attacked the Serb village of Jelašci and set fire to the houses of the families Šušnjar, Savić and Jeličić.
Perpetrators: as under 2.2.10.
Proof: Statements of Abdulah Kahriman and Izet Husović and of Obrad Savić, Vukoman Savić and Ljubiša Simeunović and in situ record - 133/95-1, 552/94-2, 440/94-40, 456/94-1 and 279/95-6.
2.4.4. On August 8, 1992, members of the Muslim military unit commanded by Ahmet Sejdić mounted an armed attack on the Serb villages of Klisura, Adrovići and Bursići, killed civilians, destroyed property belonging to Serbs, setting houses and other structures on fire.
In the village of Klisura they burned the family houses and auxiliary buildings of: Marko Kusmuk, Miloš Lučić, Milka Lučić (f), Andjelka Lučić (f), Bogdan Ičagić, Novak Ičagić, Drago Kusmuk, Boško Racković, Mile Kojić, Straina Furtula and Dušan Balčak.
In the village of Adrovići they burned down the family houses and buildings of: Ljubo Kojić, Momčilo Kojić, Radomir Kojić, Milkan Kojić, Budimir Kojić, Koja Kojićand Svetozar Tošić.
In the village of Bursići buildings were burned down belonging to: Novak Kovačević, Miloš Krsmanović, Milisav Krsmanović, Slavko Krsmanović, Božana Ičagić (f) and Nedjo Ičagić.
Perpetrators: as under 2.2.12.
Proof: Statements of Marko Kusmuk, Mileva Krsmanović (f), Milka Krsmanović (f) and Ramiz Hasković -133/95-4, 552/94-13, 456/94-10, 440/94-5, 20 and 39 and 678/95-4.
2.4.5. On October 25, 1992 Muslim soldiers attacked the Serb villages of Kočarić and Paljevine, and in Kočarić set fire to the houses (and auxiliary buildings) of: Ratko Mirković, Sava Mirković, and Milorad Mirković, and in the village of Paljevine they burned the houses of: Boško Trifković, Momčilo Trifković, Milka Zečević (f) and Petar Trifković, with auxiliary buildings.
Perpetrators: as under 2.2.14.
Proof: Statements of Milovan Pecikoza, Petar Trifković, Ratko Mirković and Boško Mirković, - 133/95-4, 552/94-7, 456/94-6 and 7 and 673/95-23.
2.4.6. On October 29, 1992 during an attack on the Serb village of Donja Lijeska, Muslim soldiers set fire to a number of Serb houses and auxiliary buildings, among which two houses belonging to Milja Tanasković, and the stables, coopery, pigsties and a pantry.
1. Bektor, commander of a Muslim military unit
2. ÈanFar, son of the bus conductor ÈanFar.
2.4.7. During an attack on the Serb villages of Ćamice and Stražbenice, on January 21, 1993 Muslim soldiers set fire to houses and other buildings.
In the village of Ćamice they burned down the houses of: Desanka Vidaković (f), Milenko Čarapić, Novica Vidaković, Vitomir Golubović, Milenko Djujić, Milorad Golubović, Zdravko Marković, Rade Marković, Draginja Djujić (f), Jova Tešević, Vitomir Marković, Budimir Marković, Miloje Tešević, Jovo Zečević, Sredo Savić, Zoran Savićand Ilija Savić, as well as the vacationing cottage of Dragan Savić. They also burned down the auxiliary buildings and the cattle in the stables.
In the village of Stražbenice they burned down the houses of: Miladin Tešević, Rada Kiridžić (f), Čedo Tešević, Simo Tešević, Miloje Tešević (two houses) and Soka Tešević (f).
Perpetrators: as under 2.2.16.
Proof: Statements of witnesses Rade Kiridžić, Milutin Tešević, Novica Vidaković, Petar Savić, Milenko Vidaković, Milenko Djujić and Ramiz Hasković, as well as the statement of Mehmed Menzilović - 133/95-2, 552/94-12, 456/94-8, 678/95-4 and 673/95-2 and 24.
3. CONCLUDING PART
3.1. Developments in Višegrad prior to the outbreak of war and during the war attest to the total commitment of the Muslims to creating an Islamic state on the soil of Bosnia and Herzegovina in conformity with the ideas set forth in the Islamic Declaration of Alija Izetbegović, President of the Party of Democratic Action and President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was the Serbs, as the main obstacle to the establishment of a Muslim state, that bore the brunt of the efforts of the Muslims which also involved resorting to force.
In Višegrad, as a strategically important point, a city on the Drina river, adjacent to Serbia and on the route to the Rashka district which is predominantly populated by Muslims, the activities of the Muslims before the outbreak of the war, designed to intimidate the Serbs and expel them from the area, were particularly vigorous.
3.2. Pressures on the Serbs involved physical assaults on a massive scale, threats to the effect that they had no business living in Višegrad, the severance of their ties with the mother country, attacks on passengers aboard busses coming from Serbia, blockades of streets, preventing the authorities from functioning, and the creation of a general atmosphere of tension and insecurity for the Serbs. Parallel with this, Serbs were ousted from responsible positions, in bodies of authority, public services and business establishments.
In the attacks on the Serbs, the aggressive core of the Muslims was the armed group rallied around Murat Šabanović, whose brother Avdija Šabanović was the President of the PDA in Višegrad and a deputy to the Municipal Assembly of Višegrad. The culmination of aggressive activities undertaken by this group was the demolition of the monument of Ivo Andrić in Višegrad on July 1, 1992, for which psychological ground had been prepared by negative and extremely insulting articles on Andrić published in the Islamic paper "VOX" of Sarajevo ("Can it really be that the beautiful, endearing and peaceful Bosnia engendered such a blackguard").
3.3. The link between the aggressive activities of the group around Murat Šabanović and the authorities in Višegrad where the key offices were held by Muslims, is evident. Although he kept repeating acts of aggression which had the attributes of criminal offenses, Šabanović was never remanded in custody, and the investigation against him for the destruction of Andrić’s monument was not completed even after six months, although the offense had been committed in broad daylight, in front of a number of people and the whole incident had been filmed by movie camera. Other proceedings also (for criminal offenses or misdemeanors) against Muslims for attacks on Serbs were only instituted formally.
Although Murat Šabanović carried an automatic weapon when attacking Serbs and rioting, law enforcement officers never seized his arms nor instituted criminal proceedings against him for illegal possession and carrying of arms.
When members of the PDA broke into the premises of the Secretariat of National Defence of the Commune of Višegrad and took away all military documentation from it (in the night between September 1- 2, 1991), Fikret Cocalić, the President of the Municipal Assembly of Višegrad, stood up in defence of the perpetrators of this act saying that "it had been people" that took away the documents and that he - the President- acquiesced with that.
The group of Murat Šabanović, armed with machine guns and automatic rifles, immediately before thewar, was entrusted with securing the building of the Municipal Assembly of Višegrad during Assembly sessions.
3.4. The objective of the Muslims of Višegrad, as the majority population, to suppress Serbs from all walks of life, became also manifest in the work of Municipal Assembly after the multiparty elections. Disregarding the prescribed procedure the Muslim councillors amended the Statute of the Commune and introduced majority -based decision-making on all issues, thus making sure that decisions suited to their interests would be taken, which eventually induced Serb deputies to withdraw from the Assembly.
In the Secretariat of the Interior and its departments personnel changes were effected with Muslims being placed in key positions and pressures being brought to bear on Serb members of this service by suspending them from work and similar measures. When the Muslims working in these services joined in the effort to arm the Muslim population, the Serb policemen left the service.
3.5. Parallel with exerting pressures on the Serbs, the Muslims prepared for war by arming, military organizing and by supplying foodstuffs and other articles and materiel necessary for waging war. The Muslims in Višegrad in so doing sought to liaise with the Muslims in the Rashka District in Serbia whom they expected to assist them.
3.6. The Muslim Islamic community actively contributed to the mobilization of Muslims rallying around the idea of the creation of a Muslim state on the soil of the former Yugoslavia, for matters of religion and state are inseparable in an Islamic state. It is only in this way that we can understand the dramatic appeal of the Council of Elders of the Islamic community of Bosnia and Herzegovina addressed to the Muslims asking them to call a referendum and vote for an independent and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina - "for their own future and the future of their religion"... ("...if we fail to pass this test not for a long time will history give us another chance for a remedial exam").
In preparations for the war as well as during the war itself, the potent influence of the Islamic faith on its Muslim beleivers was drawn on to the maximum. Combatants were given so-called "Khoja’s inscriptions" - claims about the justified struggle of the Muslims and meaningfulness of their sacrifice ("Allah loves those who fight on his path"..."The wards of Allah should fear nothing, rue for nothing and be afraid of nothing"..."He who fights on Allah’s path and dies or wins in battle shall certainly have our own reward", and similar).
3.7. The objective of the referendum of the Muslims and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina was for this Republic to secede from Yugoslavia and for the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina "to be thus led out" of Yugoslavia contrary to their will, with or without war. As for the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina at their referendum they only decided whether they wanted to remain in Yugoslavia and not on keeping the Croats and Muslims in Yugoslavia, and this entailed the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, reflecting the options made by its constituent peoples.
On April 8, 1992 the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which by then consisted of only Muslims and Croats, adopted a decision proclaiming an imminent threat of war, and on April 9, 1992 a decision on the unification of all armed forces in the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to this latter decision, armed groups and individuals failing to report to and place themselves under the command of Territorial Defence Headquarters were to be considered paramilitary formations. In this way any military organizing of Serbs in order to defend their interests was declared illegal in advance by a decision in the adoption of which they did not participate. A forced exodus from Yugoslavia was foisted on the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a threat of the use of military force, while military resistance on their part was outlawed. Under the guise of the defence of the oustensibly independent state of Bosnia and Herzegovina the use of military force against the Serbs was given alleged legality and legitimacy.
3.8. When he discharged the water from the "Višegrad" hydro power- plant impoundment causing enormous property damage (an environmental disaster was only avoided by the preventive discharge of water from other impoundments downstream from Višegrad), Murat Šabanović acted with the consent of the very top of the Muslim authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In their well known conversation via radio waves, when Murat Šabanović threatened to blow up the dam, Alija Izetbegović told him “Don’t do it Murat, until you really have to”. And on April 12, 1992 a cable message arrived for Šabanović through the police station in Višegrad, sent by Sead Ahmetović, the commander of the Green Berets of Bosnia and Herzegovina - “to blow up the Višegrad dam as soon as possible”. The decision on discharging the water from the power-plant lake was not left up to Murat Šabanović, just as other acts of violence committed by Šabanović were not a matter of his personal decision.
3.9. While before the war various forms of attacks on Serbs in Višegrad were designed to force the Serbs to move out, during the war they turned into genocide committed by the Muslims against the Serbian people.
Crimes were committed particularly in villages against Serb civilians who had not managed to escape during attacks by the Muslim army. Killing defenseless old men, women and children who can never even remotely be considered a potential enemy, can be accounted for only by genocidal intent, the objective to annihiliate the people to which the victims belong. Behind these crimes is virulent national hatred, especially manifested by the ways in which the victims were made to suffer (some had their throats slit, parts of the bodies were severed of other victims, and people were also burned alive in their houses).
Prisoners of war were also killed with great physcial and mental suffering inflicted on them.
Prisoners and captured civilians who were not killed, were subjected to brutal maltreatment and torture with grave consequences on their health.
In his letter sent to the commander of the Territorial Defence Headquarters of Višegrad, the commander of a Muslim military unit indicates as the objective of joint military action in the summer of 1992, among other things, the "destruction of the personnel and the materiel of the aggressor". Events have shown that the "destruction of the personnel of the aggressor", during attacks on Serb villages, also meant killing civilians unfit for military service, children, women and old men. They, at the same time demonstrate that these crimes were not excesses of individuals but a deliberate, organized activity of the Muslim army designed to destroy the Serbian nation.