Today, Tuzla marks the 28th anniversary of the horrific massacre in Kapija, when the grenade was fired from Ozren Mountain on May 25, 1995, killing 71 people and wounded more than 200.
This massacre, also known as the crime over Tuzla’s Youth, is one of the worst crimes committed against civilians in Tuzla.
A commemorative event, a memory of the victims of the tragedy and all civilian victims of the recent war, began today in Slana Banja by laying wreaths and flowers in commemoration of the civilian victims of the massacre.
Numerous friends began to come to the location of the “Aleja Mladosti” Memorial Complex where they visited the eternal rest of innocent civilians whose lives were interrupted on the Day of Youth.
The grenade from Ozren fired on that date the Serbian army under Novak Đukić’s command, who ordered the shooting of civilian targets in Tuzla with cannon missiles.
Novak Đukić, a former Army of Republika Srpska(VRS) officer was arrested in Banja Luka on 7 November 2007. At the time of the attack Đukić was the commander of Tactical Group Ozren. His trial began on 11 March 2008. On 12 June 2009, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found Đukić guilty and sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment. On 10 September 2010 the Appellate Panel dismissed Đukić’s appeals as unfounded and upheld the first instance verdict of 12 June 2009 in its entirety.
Đukić was released in February 2014, after the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina had nullified a series of rulings due to misapplication of the law (Maktouf-Damjanovic issue). In a new trial, he was again sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in June 2014. Đukić absconded and repaired in Serbia, country of which he also had acquired citizenship. An arrest warrant was issued for him in October 2014, to no avail. Bosnia and Herzegovina then asked Serbia, on the basis of the existing protocols on judicial cooperation, to enforce the final ruling against Đukić in Serbia.
Proceedings in Serbia started only in February 2016. Đukić’s defense used the proceedings to claim his innocence and spread historical revisionist theories about the massacre of Tuzla’s Kapija. Đukić also delayed the trial by not attending the hearings for purported health reasons (hospitalisations at the Military Medical Academy). In 2018 experts claimed that Đukić was temporarily incapacitated and delayed the trial for one more year.