Two former members of the Emergency Interventions Police Squad from Prijedor plead not guilty to crimes committed at Koricanske stijene in August 1992.
“I plead not guilty to the crimes charged upon me,” Sasa Zecevic and Radoslav Knezevic said, one after the other. They are charged under a joint indictment with participation in the murder of about 200 civilians on Mount Vlasic on August 21, 1992.
The State Prosecution charges that Zecevic and Knezevic, former members of the Emergency Interventions Squad with the Public Safety Station in Prijedor, helped escort a convoy of people moving from Prijedor to Travnik, and then took part in separating and shooting more than 200 civilians from the convoy. Twelve people are believed to have survived the shooting.
The indictment alleges that the men, who were separated from the rest of the convoy, were loaded onto two buses and taken to Koricanske stijene on Mount Vlasic.
“They ordered the men to get off one of the buses and took them to the edge of the road and ordered them to stand by a deep hole. Then they ordered them to kneel down and started shooting with automatic weapons,” the indictment alleges.
Seven other members of the Emergency Interventions Squad of the Public Safety Station from Prijedor are charged, before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the same crime. Damir Ivankovic was originally charged under the same indictment. After having concluded a guilt admission agreement and testified against the other indictees, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
During his testimony Ivankovic said that on August 21, 1992 he saw Sasa Zecevic and Radoslav Knezevic taking part in escorting the convoy and shooting the civilians at Koricanske stijene.
Zecevic has been held in custody since July 1 this year, after having been arrested at the Public Safety Station in Banja Luka, where he worked as a policeman. Knezevic is serving a sentence for war crimes committed in Prijedor in 1994. The indictment was confirmed on July 14 this year.
Preliminary Hearing Judge Ljubomir Kitic told the parties that “the complete case, including the indictment and plea records”, would be referred to a trial chamber, which would schedule the main trial within the next 60 days.