trans.gif (43 bytes)  

Simo Drljaca died on the morning of July 10th, 1997. That is, SFOR units suddenly attacked and killed Simo Drljaca by a lake in Gradine near Omarska. At the same time, they abducted his son Sinisa and his brother-in-law Spiro Milanovic who witnessed the entire event. One other person who was in a nearby cabin was also an eyewitness during the entire event.

According to the official statement given by a SFOR representative, Simo Drljaca was killed "in an act of self-defence havin previously wounded one of their soldiers". On the other hand, the accounts of the three witnesses greatly differ from the official SFOR statement since these witnesses stated that Simo Drljaca was literally liquidated. That is the reason why the expert opinion of a forensic medical expert was sought.

During the analysis, the following official documents were used: the Investigation Report (Picture 1) conducted by the Investigative Judge of the Primary Court in Prijedor, Judge Zivko Dragosavljevic, the Official Notes (Picture 2) of Judge Zoran Kalaba, Investigative Judge of the District Court in Banja Luka, and the Autopsy Report (Picture 3), performed by forensic specialist Dr. Zeljko Karan.

02.jpg (14618 bytes)   Fig. 1

03.jpg (33174 bytes)  Fig. 2

04.jpg (39772 bytes)   Fig. 3

Judge Zivko Dragosavljevic, Investigative Judge of the Primary Court in Prijedor, went to the scene of the event which was being guarded by the SFOR unit stationed in Ramic under the command of a certain Major Denny. The Investigative Judge noted that "all traces at the scene were preserved", which is very important for clearing up the entire case. Also noted in the Investigation Report is that helicopters, motored vehicles and tanks were used for this SFOR operation.

In his Report, the Investigative Judge listed precisely all material traces found at the scene, based on which a sketch was made (Picture 4). On the road leading to the sight of the event, there were two vehicles, a "Yugo" (No. 1) and a "BMW" with broken windows and traces of having been searched (No. 2). Below were the tent and trailer where Simo Drljaca, his son and his brother-in-law had been camping (No. 3). A wooden fence, both the horizontal and vertical part, is marked No. 13. The tree stumps on which breakfast was served are marked No. 4. Down the slope which leads to the lake, approximately 5 metres away from where they had been sitting, one of Simo Drljaca’s slippers was found (No. 5).

Further down, towards the lake, at a distance of 21 metres, Drljaca’s other slipper was found (No. 6). The slipper was nest to a puddle of blood (No. 7) where three 9mm bullets (No. 8) were found. Looking from the direction of the lake, 4 metres to the right, one 5.56mm bullet shell (No. 10) and two 9mm bullets were discovered (No. 9). No. 11 marks an unwinded, foreign-made dressing found where the grass ends and the sandy part of the beach begins. The cabin where the third witness was located is marked No. 12 (SFOR soldiers weren’t aware of his presence). Arrows show which directions the two groups of SFOR soldiers came from.

Let it be noted that the Investigative Judge took with him all of these material traces. He noted in his Report that they may eventually be used for further analysis.

Official documents show that upon the death of Simo Drljaca, his son and brother-in-law were captured and taken, by helicopter, to Tuzla.

12.jpg (18745 bytes)
Fig.  5
15.jpg (21974 bytes)
Fig. 6
16.jpg (25354 bytes)
Fig.  7

Pictures 5 through 11 show the sight of the event shot from different directions. Picture 5 shows the fence which separates the road from the slope which leads to the lake. Picture 6 was taken from the corner where the two fences meet and shows the tree stumps where breakfast was being served. These tree stumps and a commemorative cross for Simo Drljaca are seen in Picture 7. In Picture 8, shot from a different direction, the tree stumps are once again shown but also is shown the cabin where the third eyewitness was located. Picture 9 shows the cabin and was taken from the spot where Simo Drljaca was killed. Picture 11 shows the cracks in the cabin wall through which the witness observed the entire happening.

17.jpg (16738 bytes)
Fig. 8
18.jpg (19336 bytes)
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
20-1.jpg (8508 bytes)
Fig. 11

<  home