Report from the Scorpions' Trial, September 25, 2006-09-30

Continuing in front of the Council for War Crimes (Special Court) is the trial of five members of the “Scorpions” for the murder of six men of Bosniak nationality from Srebrenica, in Trnov in July, 1995...

In Trnov were murdered: Safet Fejzic (17), Azmir Alispahic (17), Sidik Salkic (36), Smail Ibrahimovic (35), and Saib Salkic (20), and a sixth victim of the shooting who still has not been identified. The trial of the five Scorpions began in December, 2005. Slobodan Medic (39), the first accused and a Scorpion commander, declared that he did not order the shooting of the prisoners of July 16 or 17, 1995. The other Scorpion members also denied guilt for the crime: Aleksandar Vukov (33), Aleksandar Medic (38), Branislav Medic (36). Pero Petrasevic (36) is the only one who admitted participation in the crime.

Activists from the Women in Black network have attended the Scorpions’ trial since December 2005, with the participation of activists from various cities in Serbia.

The current search called the court expert Slobodan Jovcic, who testified his opinion regarding some video material showing the killing. The expert said that the audio track had been manipulated.

Today again we were witnesses to the pain of the Trnov victims’ families. For the millionth time they pass through the same pain, degradation, and bitterness.

We watched these same men whom we will see tonight in a documentary film on B92, Jedinica. These and many more of these same Serb heroes and patriots are a part of the same machine of death—a state of organized crime. These are even confirmed words of one of the Scorpions, Aleksandra Medica, on March 14, 2006, before the Special Court in Belgrade. “I killed them only because I was ordered to, because they were Muslims. Not one of them was armed.” Most people in this country do not want to acknowledge that, and authorities deny it.

Are not all those who deny, minimalize, relativize, the criminal past really a constituent part of the collective crime, or at least have a hand in the collective moral responsibility?

The Women in Black network has attended this trial since December, 2005. We report on it. We do this mostly because we feel moral, political, and emotional responsibility for the victims of crimes committed in our name. We know that the pain of families of those killed in Trnov cannot be taken away, but we will continue to with the utmost respect relate to their pain, to care for them. In the court where they had to come face to face with the killers. If we do not do this, then they and all other victims of crimes committed in our name will have a “justified and understandable fear” (Linda Radzvil) of all of us who live in Serbia. It is important that the families of the victims hear from us that we have loudly, clearly, and publicly condemned the Serbian crime from the first day, in October, 1991 when we took to the streets: “Leaders, well-paid generals, war speculators and profiteers want this war—all those force others to kill to defend their power and their privilege. Then as well as now and for always we will say that they are murderers, and only murderers! We will not stop demanding accountability for the crimes of the state in which we live.

Stasa, Milos, and Mima

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