With the reading of the indictment and the opening remarks, the trial of Ejup Ganic and nine others accused of attacking a convoy, killing, wounding and abusing members of the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and civilians on May 3rd, 1992 in Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo began.
Ganic, Zaim Backovic, Hasan Efendic, Hamid Bahto, Fikret Muslimovic, Jusuf Pusina, Bakir Alispahic, Enes Bezdrob, Ismet Dahic and Mahir Zisko were accused as civil, military and police officials of war crimes against civilians, prisoners, wounded and sick, and unlawful killing of the enemy.
Prosecutor Mladen Vukojicic said in his opening statement that he would prove that it was not a legitimate attack on the convoy, and that the injured parties had the status of protected persons under international law.
“The evidence shows that it is a local column under the command of UNPROFOR, not a JNA column,” said the prosecutor, adding that the JNA had no security forces and that the evacuation was left to others.
According to the indictment, Ganic opposed the agreement of April 27th and the agreement of May 3rd on the peaceful evacuation of the rest of the Second Military District of the JNA from Sarajevo and, using his influence as a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), incited the leadership of the Territorial Defense of the Republic of BiH, including Backovic, to order the column to be cut off and stopped.
As stated, Backovic, as a member of the Operational Center of the Territorial Defense Headquarters issued orders to members of the Territorial Defense Headquarters to attack the convoy and capture all persons, knowing that murders and inhumane treatment could occur.
The indictment states that eight officers, soldiers and civilians, including members of the medical services, were killed during the attack, and 22 were wounded, while 20 were captured and physically abused and humiliated.
Ganic‘s defense attorney, Lejla Covic, said in her opening statement that the evidence does not point to the defendant’s responsibility.
She said that this investigation has been going on for 30 years and that the Hague prosecutors in 1993 assessed that there was not enough evidence for the investigation against Ganic, and that the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH had suspended the investigation against him, Detektor writes.