Bosnian ‘Human Shield’ Hopes for Serbian Security Chiefs’ Conviction

The verdict in their trial will be announced at the UN court in The Hague on Wednesday.

Hadzovic told BIRN that before the killings, he and other men from Doboj were taken by two soldiers wearing red berets to a Yugoslav People's Army hangar in the village of Usora. He was then transferred to a makeshift Serb-run detention facility at the Percin Disco near Doboj, along with about 130 other non-Serb prisoners.

When fighting broke out with the Bosniak-led Bosnian Army on the night of July 12, the prisoners were used as human shields. Around 50 of them were taken out of the Percin Disco, made to strip to the waist and put their hands behind their heads.

The prisoners had been lined up in rows of ten, with Hadzovic in the fourth row, and then told to run towards Bosnian Army lines.

One Serb fighter shot a prisoner in the head and told the others: "Whoever tries to run away will be treated the same," Hadzovic recalled.

He then saw another soldier shoot two prisoners in the forehead.

'Joint criminal enterprise'

As they approached the frontline, soldiers on the other side told them to run because they were about to throw a bomb.

The bomb didn't explode but Hadzovic had already started to run when the Serb fighters opened fire on the fleeing prisoners from behind.

He recalled how he and another prisoner crawled under the dead bodies and hid in the basement of a nearby house, where they stayed until dark.

"We slid into the basement, all bloody. We flew in there, the basement was full of coal, and we covered ourselves in coal," he said.

"It was already about seven o'clock and we fell silent. We didn't know who or what was in there. It was like that until about midnight. Then the two of us fled...

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