Bosnian Serb indicted for war crimes – Vitomir Rackovic

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Justice Report

 

BIRN

 Sarajevo

Himzija Tvrtkovic told the Sarajevo court on Thursday that she lived with her family in the village of Kabernik until June 12, 1992.

That day, she said, her neighbour, Vitomir Rackovic, came to the village in a truck and told her husband and son to get on.

“He said: ‘Husein and Hamed, get on [the truck]’. I asked why he was taking them and followed him, crying, and he yelled at me: ‘Don’t make me kill you’,” the witness said, adding that the truck then went to Lijeska.

She said she never saw her husband or son again, and left the village that day.

“That hurts the most. So many graves and nothing. I want [him] to tell me. He said he would kill them, and I want him to say where their bones are,” said the witness, who recognized the defendant while leaving the courtroom, and told him that she wanted to know where her husband and son are.

Rackovic is charged, as a former member of the Bosnian Serb Army, with participating in attacks on Bosniak villages and with taking part in illegal detentions, torture, forced disappearances and rapes in the Visegrad area from May to August in 1992.

According to the indictment, in July 1992, he took part in illegal arrests in the village of Kabernik. Some of those arrested were never found, while the bodies of others were later exhumed in the Zepa municipality.

Himzija Tvrtkovic’s son, Haris Tvrtkovic, who was 12 in 1992, also testified. He said that the truck with the soldiers came to village on June 12, 1992 and then left towards the village of Cancari.

“The truck later came back from Cancari direction and Besima Cancar, Esad Mameledzija and more people were in it,” he recalled.

“Vitomir Rackovic, who is now in court, got out of the cab of the truck… and ordered my father, brother and uncle to get on,” Tvrtkovic said, adding that his uncle managed to escape.

He also said that his mother, Himzija, had asked Rackovic where he was taking her husband and son.

“We never had any information about my father and brother. It has been 22 years and nothing,” he said.

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