(January 9, 1996 — April 17, 1999)
Made on behalf of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior, Belgrade Secretariat of the Interior, pursuant to Article 154, paragraph 2, in connection with Article 238 of the Law on Criminal Procedure.
Batajnica Date April 17, 1999
(location of investigation)
Investigation conducted An expert participating in investigation:
by an official person:
Predrag Ojdanić Branislav Uskoković
(full name) (full name)
recording clerk (full name)
Before the investigation, the following has been established:
The scene was visited upon notification that on April 17, 1999, at 9:30 p.m. forensic description of event
Present during investigation witnesses
The investigation began at 10:40 p.m.
The following was established by inspecting the scene:
The scene is located in Batajnica, Dimitrije Lazarev-Raša Street. Broken tree branches were found behind the house No. 8, viewed from the direction of the street. On the side opposite the street, all window panes on the said house are broken. Punctures outside lateral walls are noticeable on the buildings Nos. 8 and 10, as well as broken window panes of flats on the first storey. The heaviest damage is noticeable close to the bathroom window of the flat No. 2 owned by Žarko Rakić. No pieces of an unidentified explosive device were found on the ground around the buildings.
Žarko Rakić’s flat is on the first floor of a one-storey building facing the building No. 10. Traces of blood were found in the hall outside the flat. In the bathroom, where the late Milica was during the event, broken glass from the bathroom window was found, a damaged washbasin and a chamber pot under it.
On the roof of the building No. 7, located across the building No. 8, in the loft of the flat owned by Mladen Lukić, two holes are visible in the ceiling made by fragments of an unidentified explosive device.
In Batajnica Health Centre, in a doctor’s surgery, the naked body of deceased Milica Rakić was seen lying on the bed on her back. Head injuries were noticed on the body, as well as bandages on her left upper leg and her left arm.
No other clues have been found.
(signed) Predrag Ojdanić
Republic of Serbia
MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION POLICE DEPARTMENT
Investigation and operations division
April 17, 1999
On April 17, 1999, around 9:30 p.m., during the strike of NATO warplanes, an unidentified explosive object fell in Batajnica in the vicinity of building No. 8 on Dimitrije Lazarev-Raša Street, inflicting injuries on the child MILICA RAKIĆ, father’s name Žarko, born in Belgrade on 9 January 1996, ID No. 0901996715113. She died of the injuries in Batajnica Health Centre. The death was established at 10:05 p.m. and duly certified in writing by Dr. Vesna Petković-Todorović, the physician on duty in the health centre.
On the same occasion, DRAŽEN JANKOVIĆ, father’s name Milan, born in Zemun on 31 December 1977, resident address in Batajnica, 11 D. Lazarev-Raša St., was wounded and thereafter received medical help in Batajnica Health Centre. The physician on duty, Dr. Vesna Petković-Todorović, noted a minor bodily injury — a laceration on his left upper leg. After he had been taken care of, he was released.
The event was reported to the investigative judge on duty at the Belgrade District Court, Dušan Slijepčević, on whose orders the body of the late Milica Rakić was transported to the Forensic Institute for autopsy.
In the course of the event, damage was inflicted on apartment buildings Nos. 8, 10 and 7. Window panes are broken on Nos. 8 and 10, and there are two holes on the roof of No. 7.
Father of the deceased, Žarko Rakić from Batajnica, resident address 8 D. Lazarev Raša St., was interviewed on the spot. He stated that at the time he was in the bedroom with his wife Dušica and their son, while their daughter Milica was in the bathroom, sitting on a chamber pot next to the bathtub. After he had heard a detonation, he went to the bathroom where he saw that the glass of the bathroom window was broken and that Milica was hurt. He called the ambulance and she was taken to the Health Centre in order to receive medical help.
Also interviewed was Dražen Janković, tel. No. 8486-425, who stated that at the time he was with his neighbours Dragan and Dejan Marinković, living at No. 15 of the same street, and Afrim Ahmeti living at No. 10 of the same street. They were near the area between the buildings Nos. 8 and 10 when they suddenly saw a red-yellow light between the buildings 8 and 10, after which there was a detonation and an explosion which knocked them down to the ground. He felt pain in his left leg. An ambulance took him to Batajnica Health Centre where he received medical aid.
Branislav Uskoković, Forensic technician, photographed the body as found, whereas the scene will be treated later by applying a forensic-technical procedure.
Attachment: Report on investigation
Republic of Serbia
Ministry of the Interior
Entry No. / /__________________
K.T. entry No. 100 1629 / 99
OUP Code entry No. year
Date: April 17, 1999
on forensic and technical on-site inspection
1. Type of act or event: Found dead, during assault of NATO warplanes
2. Place and date: Batajnica, Health Centre, April 17, 1999
3. Involved: Late MILICA RAKIĆ
4. Method: Described in a separate report
5. Performed forensic and technical operations: (Photographing the body of the deceased)
6. Clues and objects found: None
a) Traces of papillary lines (place of discovery, developing and fixing methods)
b) Other clues and objects found in the location (type of clues, place of discovery and method of fixing) and remarks of relevance for further treatment of clues.
The body of the deceased Milica Rakić was photographed at Batajnica Health Centre, and then transported by order of the investigative judge on duty to the Forensic Institute.
No. Kri — 468/99 182/99-2
Minutes of the Testimony of Witness
Taken on April 21, 1999 before the investigative judge of the Belgrade District Court in the criminal proceedings against John Doe for the criminal act under Article 141 of the Penal Code of FRY.
Investigative judge Witness: Pavao Vujasić Žarko Rakić
Court clerk Also present at the hearing:
Stana Mitrić Public Prosecutor
The hearing began at:
The witness was warned of his/her duty to tell the truth and not to withhold anything and of the consequences of perjury. He/she was also warned that he/she was under no obligation to answer specific questions likely to expose himself/herself or next of kin to disgrace, considerable material damage or prosecution (Art. 229 of the Law on Criminal Procedure). The witness answered the general questions as follows:
1) Name and family name: Žarko Rakić
2) Father’s name Rade
3) Occupation car mechanic
4) Domicile Batajnica, 8/2 Dimitrije Lazarev-Raša Street
5) Place of birth Village of Kolunić, Bosanski Petrovac
6) Date of birth 7 April 1956
7) Relationship with the accused or the injured party father of late Milica
With regard to the merits of the case, the witness stated the following:
The witness was reminded and warned to tell the truth, and then gave the following answers to the questions asked by the court:
I live with my family in Batajnica, No. 8 Dimitrije Lazarev-Raša Street, in a two-room flat of 46 m2, on the first floor of the building with the total of three flats — one on the ground floor and two on the first one. My family consists of my wife Dušica, nine-year old son Nikola and until April 17, 1999 my now late daughter Milica, born on January 9, 1996 in Belgrade, Savski venac Municipality.
On April 17, 1999, the air raid alert was announced around 9:00 p.m. All members of my family were in the flat at the time. We closed all the shutters on windows and the balcony door and opened the windows. The bathroom window is always kept open. After the alert sound, we acted in a usual manner and were mainly gathered in the dining room in order to avoid being in a room with a lot of glazing. We secured the dining room from broken glass or air blasts with planks from a dismantled, unusable shelf cupboard. We had taken every precaution so that our small children would be safe in case of glass breaking or fragmentation.
After dinner, we decided to make a bed in the dining room and get ready to go to sleep, as we normally did in such situations. Then Milica asked her mother to take her to the bathroom, which she did and stayed with her until she told her mother that she did not need to go to the toilet. They returned from the bathroom to the dining room. After a short while, Milica asked again to be taken to the bathroom. Her mother complied and put her on a chamber pot. Since mother had started making the bed in the dining room, she left Milica on the chamber pot in the bathroom and went back to continue making the bed.
Soon after the mother came to the dining room, we heard a strong bang and the sound of glass breaking. I went to the bathroom with my wife and saw Milica lying in a pool of blood. Pieces of glass were not on the floor beside her but in the bathtub. I grabbed the child and my wife was trying to find out if there were any pieces of glass in her head and to identify the injuries in order to give her first aid if necessary. After that we alarmed the neighbours who quickly drove us to Batajnica Health Centre where there were doctors on duty. Milica was giving signs of life all along and at the time I put her down in a doctor’s surgery and handed her over to the staff on duty. The members of the staff removed me from the office and I waited in another room for any kind of information on her condition and the actions they were going to take. Due to suspense without any information whatsoever and probably exhaustion and excitement, I collapsed. They gave me an injection and when I regained consciousness I was driven home and told that I would duly be notified on the health condition of my daughter Milica. Since we did not receive any information, we telephoned several hospitals in order to find out if she had been admitted in one of them. We were told from one of the hospitals to watch TV and listen to the news. I could not realize what that meant, but in retrospect, apparently it was said on TV that a child had been killed by bombing in Batajnica. We did not see or hear such news and our neighbours probably did not want to tell us that Milica was dead. We learned about her death around 2:00 a.m. on April 18, 1999.
Only after everything was over and the official investigation completed was I able to think clearly and accept the reality. I searched the bathroom more closely and came to the conclusion that Milica was not wounded by broken glass, but by fragments which came through the window and broke it. Some came through the outside wall.
I cannot say and I have no expert knowledge as to what actually happened, but the fragments must surely have come from a missile or a cluster bomb which is indicated by a large number of fragments scattered around a vast area.
Anyway, an official investigation was conducted, samples of fragments were taken and, to my knowledge, a conclusion was reached that the fragments came from a cluster bomb.
The house where I live is in the residential area of Batajnica. There are no military facilities in the vicinity. The closest one is Batajnica airfield which is at least 4-5 km away from my house.
I am aware that nobody can bring back my child, but I wish, although I know it is going to be difficult, that those who are guilty of this crime, whether directly or indirectly, be punished no matter when. Therefore, I am prepared to make my statement at any time and before any court or institution and to lodge an indemnification claim to such court or institution.
I have read the record and having no objections thereto, I sign it as my own.
(sgd) Rakić Žarko
Recording clerk, Investigative judge,
(sgd) Stana Mitrić (sgd) Pavao Vujasić