Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Oric Trial Continues to Focus on Command Responsibility

(TU No 436, 20-Jan-06)
By IWPR
Naser Oric, 37, is charged with responsibility for the murder and mistreatment of Serb detainees in Srebrenica’s prison between 1992-93, and with wanton destruction of Serb property in the villages around Srebrenica in the same period, on the basis that he failed to prevent or punish the crimes.



The former secretary of the Srebrenica War Presidency, Šuhra Džilovic, appearing as a defence witness, confirmed that Oric was member of that body but said he was rarely in the office and had no influence on war presidency members.



Džilovic explained how Oric became popular with local youth for his role in preventing Serb paramilitary forces from entering Srebrenica in 1992. But she also said that Oric wasn't suitable as commander because he was “young, beautiful, emotional and an unimposing guy”.



The witness confirmed evidence previously heard that during the war period almost none of the armed Muslims she has seen in the town had uniforms, that there was no system of communication except amateur radios and that war presidency lacked the means to mobilise Muslims.



Džilovic went on to say that Oric wasn't the TO (Territorial Defence) Commander of Srebrenica because the “TO didn't exist during 1992”.



When confronted by the prosecution with documents signed by Oric as TO commander, the witness replied that they were unreliable and reflected the wishes of their authors rather than reality.