SERBIA: SECOND DEFENDANT ADMITS KILLING SREBRENICA MUSLIMS
Belgrade, 21 Dec. (AKI) – A member of a Serbian paramilitary unit, on trial with four of his comrades, admitted to a Belgrade court on Wednesday of having participated in the killing of six Bosniaks from the town of Srebrenica. Pero Petrasevic made the confession before the special court which convened for the second day of the trial relating to the July 1995 massacre. The five members of the Scorpions unit were arrested last June, after a video recording of the shooting was first revealed before the International Tribunal for War Crimes in Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
The first defendant, Slobodan Medic, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday, but said if he knew about the killings he would have covered it up, and would “shoot like a rabbit” the man who video recorded the event.
Petrasevic declined to enter a plea, saying he would do it at a later date, after which the presiding judge Gordana Bozilovic read his statement given to the prosecutors on September 8, in which he admitted the killings and of first opening fire.
Petrasevic said that the first defendant Medic wasn’t present at the killings, but had ordered the six Muslim men be shot because they were “Muslim soldiers”. The video, however, showed six men in civilian clothes, of which the youngest was 16 years old.
Petrasevic told the court that Medic himself had ordered Slobodan Stojkovic, a member of the group, to video record the killings, presumably to have a proof that he carried out the orders of his superiors.
Medic told the court on Tuesday that he was subordinated to officers of the Bosnian Serb army and was taking orders from them.
It was not clear who gave the video to the non-governmental organization The Fund for Humanitarian Law, which passed it on to the ICTY. Defence lawyers have demanded that the video be excluded from the trial evidence and Petrasevic said he might reveal more details after the court makes ruling on the defence request.
The video shocked many in Serbia when it was aired on national television earlier this year.
“At this moment I don’t want to answer court questions,” said Petrasevic, but he said he would revel more details on the killings if he managed to remember them.
keywords: Srebrenica, Srebrenica Genocide, Srebrenica Genocide Denial, Genocide Denial, Srebrenica Video, Srebrenica Massacre, Bosniaks, Bosnian Muslims, Bosniacs, Scorpions