Zvornik trial: Volunteer testifies

Miroslav Vuković testified in the trial of the persons charged with 1992 war crimes in Zvornik.

Source: B92, Beta

Vuković, former member of a volunteer unit, told Belgrade’s War Crimes Chamber that he arrived in Zvornik, Bosnia, in mid-April 1992, on Cole Pivarski’s invitation, with a group of 20 men, including defendants in the case Dragan Slavković a.k.a. Toro and Ivan Korać a.k.a. Zoks.

They were charged with securing the parameter of a factory in Glinica and the Crveni Mulj dam, the witness said, adding he was unaware that any detention, torture or killing of local Muslims took place, as stated in the indictment.

The witnesses in the process so far have identified Toro, Zoks, and another man called Vojvoda Čele, as persons who in May and June 1992 interrogated and abused Muslims in the Ekonomija and Ciglana locations in Zvornik.

Vuković said his nickname was Čele, but that a number of other persons had the same nickname, and went on to say he never set foot inside Ekonomija, “while there were no Muslims in Ciglana at that time”.

“Zvornik was safer than Belgrade, there were no robberies, no crime,” the witness said.

According to Vuković, Pivarski was following orders he received from Belgrade, and was subordinate to second accused Branko Popović, commander of the Territorial Defense headquarters in Zvornik.

Vuković also said that after leaving Zvornik on May 18, he became a member of Serb Radical Party (SRS) president Vojislav Šešelj’s security.

The trial of the so-called Zvornik Group commenced before the War Crimes Chamber on November 28, 2005.

Branko Grujić, Branko Popović, Dragan Slavković, Ivan Korać, Siniša Filipović, Dragutin Dragičević, and Duško Vučković, have been accused of murder of at least 22 and forceful deportation of 1822 Bosnian Muslim civilians from the Zvornik municipality.

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