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Bosnia: Nurse testifies on “deportation” of Srebrenica Muslims

last update: March 26, 17:32

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The Hague, 26 March (AKI) - A former nurse testified on Monday in the trial of wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on deportation of Srebrenica Muslims in July 1995 whom she described as “horrified”.

The prosecution witness Christine Schmitz, who served in Srebrenica with Doctors Without Frontiers (DWF) during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, said Serb forces which took Srebrenica on 11 July 1995 separated civilians from men of military age, deporting women and children to Muslim-held territory, while most men were later killed.

Schmitz said she cared for the wounded and ill in the Srebrenica hospital when Bosnian Serb forces conquered the town, but was later allowed with seven Muslim men who worked for DWF to leave. But one of her colleagues refused to separate from his family.

She waved in the court his ID card, saying it was found in one of many mass graves near Srebrenica.

Cross-examining the witness, Karadzic claimed that he had ordered all civilians and DWF personnel to be allowed to leave Srebrenica, and no civilians were deported by force but wanted to leave themselves.

Schmitz replied she wasn’t aware of that order, but said there was no need for forceful deportation because local Muslims were terrified because of advancing Serb army.

Karadzic has been charged with eleven counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The indictment centers on a massacre of over 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica and 44-month siege and shelling of the capital Sarajevo.

He was arrested in Belgrade in July 2008 and was transferred to the Hague for trial. In his first appearance in court he pleaded non-guilty.

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