1992 my closest family members were liquidated, my wife Milka, brother Ranko, sister in law Obrenija and half-sister Rajka. This crime was committed by Ramo Beslija, Malik Mesetovic and Nusret Mlatoruga and the criminals are still walking free, says Nikola Novakovic, a refugee from Breze Visegrad.
Until the outbreak of the war in Bosnia, Nikola Novakovic was living with his wife Milka in Gornja Breza, in Brezanska municipality.
- Nothing much hinted of any evil, and then suddenly, July 10 in 1992. In to my house entered uniformed policemen Sabanović called Braco and Dedic called Caco.They took me to the police station in Breza where I was awaited by investigator Dževahid Sokić recalls Novakovic.
- After ridiculous accusations that I hide a radio station and a weapon the present police officers savagely beat me for two hours, and then took me to the old mining warehouse. There seven of them continued to beat me, and I recognized Esa Basic, Galib Ramic and some Sabic called Tarzo. From there they transferred me to another room with 27 Serbian prisoners, and soon after in to the basement of "electrotherm", where conditions were even worse, because there was no water and toilets, says Novakovic.
From there, he was transferred along with Nenad JEVRIĆ, March 4, 1993 to Zenica and in a rigged trial he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
- Since I was registered by the ICRC in the Zenica prison, I was not physically abused, although there were daily verbal threats. But worst was the severe hunger due to very poor food. But that was nothing compared to the knowledge of the fate of my family which I through the ICRC was informed of in June 17, 1993.
On April 8, 1993. my wife Milka, brother Ranko, our half-sister, Rajko and Ranko's wife Obrenija were brutally killed recalls Nicholas.
During the war, as soon as he arrived from Zenica prison to Ilijas, in October 1993, he began a private investigation of the murdered family members. - According to the stories of several witnesses, our neighbors Halid and Rešo Frljak ordered them to gather in the old brother's home before dark. After midnight they entered and made a terrible slaughter. I learned back then that the real killers of my closest were Ramo Bešlija, Malik Mešetović and Nusret Matoruga.
The next morning, although it was strictly forbidden by the Muslim soldiers, my closest family in the brother's home were found mutilated by the neighbor Slobodanka Puljic said Novakovic. He found out, he says, that the mutilated bodies of his family was moved to the morgue of the “Dom Zdravlje” in Breza, followed by a terrible war propaganda in the media.
- They dressed the mutilated bodies with the uniforms of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the same night on TV Sarajevo they were shown as "exclusive" footage with narration, "What the Chetniks do to innocent Muslims," said Novakovic.
According to Nikola Novakovic, the Muslim war authorities in Breza for this beastly quadruple murder blamed the local criminal, some Kovacevic, who is sentenced to two years in prison for that crime.
- All the information I managed to get until today shows that Kovacevic has nothing to do with this crime. According to several witnesses, who for obvious reasons, I do not wish to mention, the actual murderers and perpetrators of this war crime are Bešlija Ramo, Malik Mešetović and Nusret Mlatoruga. Unfortunately, neither the war nor the post-war government in Breza have made any charges or want to start any investigation, even though I repeatedly gave numerous statements, even to the Hague investigators, and they still live in Ilijas, says Novakovic with a large dose of disappointment.
The only thing Nikola Novakovic managed to do after the exhumation in 2000 which was done by Dr. Zeljko Karan, was to bury Milka Ranko, Rajko and Obrenija in the cemetery in Sokolac, where he erected their monument.
Nikola Novakovic now live in alternative accommodation, in the Visegrad Bikavac, because for him, as he said, there is no turning back to Ilijas.
- Last time I was there 30 September 2004, I was publicly attacked by the brothers Eso and Remzo Basic and in the presence of two police officers, telling me, "I would be crushed wherever they find me," I managed to get a taxi out of Breza then. These are the two brothers who beat and tortured me in the camp “Breza”, says Novakovic, adding that in spite of all he will not give up and he will persevere in seeking justice for the bestial crimes done to his loved ones.
Story by Slavko Heleta
Translation by Den Galna Serben