The trial of Naser Orić, the war commandant of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH) in Srebrenica who is being prosecuted together with Sabahudin Muhić for the war crimes at the territory of this municipality in July 1995, was continued yesterday before the Court of BiH with the testimony of Milomir Razarević, the prosecution witness.
However, the prosecution witness, who at the time of the war conflicts in Srebrenica was a member of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS), testified yesterday in favor of the accused Orić and thus exposed the lies of the protected witness 01, who testified from Serbia via video 15 days ago.
Lazarević said that, at the time of the conflicts in Zalazje, he was hiding in the attic of the house of Dragan Rakić, together with five other soldiers who hid there because their formation broke and they were left with no ammunition. Furthermore, he said he later heard, but did not see, that certain soldiers started surrendering from the other house, for which he did not even know that it serves as a hiding place for the soldiers of RS too, and allegedly Naser Orić came in front of the house. Lazarević did not see him.
The witness further said how he concluded that the person who arrived is Orić because one soldier of the ARBiH addressed him saying that among the imprisoned is also Slobodan Ilić.
After that Lazarević said he heard from the attic of the house where he was hiding that one of the soldiers wanted to beat another prisoner, Milosav Ilić, but Naser Orić did not allow that.
“Orić did not allow the beating of the prisoners. He said: We are not Chetniks or Ustashas, we are the army of BiH and they will be tried before the Military Court,” testified the prosecution witness Lazarević.
Lazarević explained to the court that he believes it was Orić because he commanded those soldiers and because he recognized Orić’s voice as the voice who previously addressed the soldiers with a megaphone four times.
The witness further said that he thinks a truck arrived in front of the house where the captured soldiers were and took them away. He stated that he did not hear any shots and that around half past eight in the evening he left the hiding place and headed towards Sase.
It is indicative, however, that the key protected witness of the Prosecution 01 at the hearing held 15 days ago stated that precisely Orić killed the judge Slobodan Ilić in Zalazje personally and that he fired on the prisoners who were escaping from the houses. Lzarević, on the other side, said he did not hear or see any murder nor he heard any shots fired.
Lazarević stated that he has no knowledge of what happened to the prisoners later and that he never saw them again. Of those taken away, he said he knew only Petko Simić.
The defense attorney Lejla Čović was interested in whether it is possible that the voice of the person speaking on a megaphone is distorted which the witness confirmed, but he reiterated that he did not see the trucks that came to pick up the captives, he only supposes that the trucks took the captives away. Lazarević strictly stated that he did not see Naser Orić in Zalazje at all, but that he concluded it was Orić based on what he heard.
Čović also asked the witness where the positions of the army of RS in Zalazje were. He answered that the soldiers of the RS were at the Old cemetery, Oblo brdo and Staro Zalazje and that those soldiers had mortars, PAM, a naval cannon, that they were well-armed and that fierce battles took place there.
Furthermore, Čović asked the witness whether someone who claims that the members of the ARBiH were in Zalazje around 11 a.m. could be lying, which the witness confirmed.
By interrogating this witness, the defense wanted to prove that the protected witness 01 lied when claiming to be present at the cemetery at 11 a.m., that the action had already been completed by 12 a.m., and that he walked around the village free afterwards.
Such claims were also refuted with Lazarević’s testimony, who said that fierce fights in Zalazje went on until 5 p.m.