Bosnian Serb Police Chief: Srebrenica Must Not Be Denied

"I will say what others will not. No one has the right to say that this crime did not happen."

These are the words of Goran Saric, the former commander of Republika Srpska's special police brigade, who was acquitted last November by the Bosnian state court of genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995.

He was cleared of issuing instructions and exerting control over his deputy Ljubomir Borovcanin, who the Hague Tribunal sentenced to 17 years for crimes in Srebrenica, and of assisting members of a joint criminal enterprise in the commission of genocide, which involved more than 7,000 murders and around 40,000 people being displaced.

In an interview with BIRN ahead of the 24th anniversary of Srebrenica on July 11, Saric said that the crime must not be denied, although he insisted that he did not know who committed it and why it happened, because he was deployed in the Sarajevo area at the time of the massacres.

However, he said that his two units, and his deputy Borovcanin, were present in Srebrenica.

"However, they did not participate in the enclave clean-up operation, but they arrived later with the aim of guarding the road and all the other things. I can say for certain that the police were not engaged in the Srebrenica liberation operation at that time, but came later, on the second or third day - that is what we were trying to prove both in The Hague and in my case, when I was on trial for four years," Saric said.

The Hague Tribunal, the Bosnian state court and courts in Serbia and Croatia have so far sentenced a total of 47 people to over 700 years, plus four life sentences, for genocide, crimes against humanity and other crimes committed in Srebrenica in July 1995. A number of those who were convicted are former Bosnian Serb...

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