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St. Vitus Day Massacre

The court established that Dusko Vuckovic Repic had killed 17 Muslims and wounded 20 and that he had raped Husnija Coric. He was sentenced to ten years in jail

NIN, Belgrade, FR Yugoslavia, July 12, 2001

The response of a majority of participants in the poll conducted by NIN is that Slobodan Milosevic and all war crime suspects should be tried in Belgrade. There is no doubt that it would be immeasurably better for Serbia and all of her citizens to do that rather than send her "bad guys" to the Hague to face the Tribunal that hasn't really tried to prove that it is just and unbiased. But, our judiciary has also not shown much interest in trying to prove that it is capable of prosecuting war crime cases.

NIN would like to remind its readers of the trial of Dusko Vuckovic, also known as Repic and Vojin Vuckovic, also known as Zuca, from June 1996. They were tried in July 1996 in the District court in Sabac. Judge Vladimir Bajic presided over the case. Dusko Vuckovic was sentenced to seven years in prison. After an appeal, two years later, the Supreme Court of Serbia (Dragomir Lelovac presided over the case) sentenced Dusko Vuckovic to ten years in prison for a war crime against civilian population and a rape. Prior to that the court established beyond reasonable doubt that Repic had killed 17 and wounded 20 Muslims in late June of 1992, in the Culture Hall in Celopek near Zvornik and that he had raped Husnija Coric. The Supreme Court sentenced Vojin Vuckovic to four months in prison for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

The trial has two salient characteristics. The suspects confessed far worse crimes than stated in the investigation and in the final verdict, and the court did not at all investigate the work of the Serb Radical Party whose members the Vuckovic brothers were.

Dusko Vuckovic "confessed far more to the Police than the investigative magistrate because the Police promised that he would not be arrested". And he confessed a lot:

Dusan Vuckovic concluded his confession with these words: "I estimate that in similar actions and fighting I managed to kill about 50 Muslims".

Vojin Vuckovic, the commander of the volunteer unit "Igor Markovic", better known as "Yellow Wasps", or "Yellow Ants", expressed in the investigation outrage with the crimes of his brother. He mentioned a case of rape of a Muslim women aged between 12 and 15, testified about a large number of killed Muslims (70 in only one incident), as well as that they were forced to engage in mutual sexual acts and were even impaled on sticks. Vuckovic was very specific in naming the names of individuals who committed these crimes, as well as the location and time of each crime. None of the mentioned cases were investigated further.

No one in the judiciary was concerned that the Serb Radical Party was organizing and sending volunteer-criminals to frontlines. Dusko Vuckovic admitted that he joined the SRS "because no one else would have taken me because of my mental problems" (treated and held several times in the mental institution "Laza Lazarevic" and similar institutions in Kovin, Vrsac and Banja Luka; court expert Dr. Svetislav Jokic concluded that Repic "is a severe psychopath with signs of heavy chronic alcoholism"). Together with his party colleagues Zoran Drazilovic, Ljubisa Petkovic and Zoran Rankic he made a plan to go to the frontline and passed military training under the supervision of Rankic and his brother. Dusko was arrested by the Police after one action in Zvornik. He was taken to the prison in Sabac on April 15, 1992. He was released from the prison several days later "thanks to the president of the Serb Radical Party in Loznica and a lawyer hired by the party".

Translated on November 12, 2001