"High Representative of the UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina" Bocola: "They told me" as evidence

According to Bocola, he got the data that about 1996 civilians were killed in Srebrenica and its surroundings by 250, that is, by 1996 a total of about 1.600 civilians and about 2.400 soldiers, as he says, "Muslims", claims Bocola. "I heard that from them, there, directly. I claim that this is true three hundred percent", says the "Italian from Danilovgrad"

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Bocola, Photo: Photo News
Bocola, Photo: Photo News
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Carlo Bocola (Karlo Bozzola) does not have any direct evidence for the claims made in his statement that 250 Bosniak civilians were killed in Srebrenica, that is, that by 1996, about 1.600 civilians and about 2.400 Bosniak soldiers had been killed in Srebrenica and its surroundings.

"Civilians were collateral damage," says Bocola in an interview with "Vijesti".

According to the judgments of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), more than 8.000 Bosniak men and boys were killed in the Srebrenica genocide.

On May 12, the Democratic People's Party (DNP) informed the public that it was its president Milan Knezevic "received a written statement from Mr. Karl Bocola, high representative of the UN during the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina". In the statement, it is stated in the announcement, "Mr. Karlo Bocola under oath reveals new facts and details related to the events in Srebrenica in 1995".

The announcement caused a lot of attention, not only because the person under this name was never a "high representative of the UN" in Bosnia, but much more because of the allegations in Karl Boccola's statement, which can be interpreted as a direct denial of genocide.

"In Srebrenica, about 1100 Muslim civilians died in the forests because they were armed and responded to the attacks, but there were also those who were unarmed and also died, about 250 of them around Srebrenica in about three years, and about 2500 to 2800 Muslim soldiers. until the end of the war. All the others buried - they were brought from other towns and villages", Karlo Bocola said in his statement.

Jovana Todorović, DNP spokeswoman, to questions addressed to Milan Knežević regarding this statement, replied that it would be best to discuss everything directly with Mr. Bocola and "we'll see with him". She kindly provided his phone number.

"I don't know if it's in Montenegro," Todorović said, noting that it probably is "because it's a Montenegrin phone number."

It will turn out a little later that Mr. Karlo Bocola lives in Danilovgrad and that he is a vital seventy-year-old "Serb from Montenegro", as he said himself, who also has Italian citizenship.

He agreed to the interview without any hesitation, explaining that his Italian father was a soldier in Montenegro during the Second World War, he fell in love with Karl's mother, a citizen of Danilovgrad, and together they went to the Apennine Peninsula after the capitulation.

He felt the call of his second or, perhaps, his first homeland, as he says, at the beginning of the war in the former SFRY. Since he was told by Montenegro that there was no need to go to war, he founded the ASIT humanitarian organization in Trieste. With the help, explains Bocola, the distinguished doctor dr Marina Andolinija he collects, first of all, medicines, which he then sends to war zones, where he soon shaves himself.

He explains that, however, he was not a "high representative of the UN" as they presented him in the DNP statement.

“Okay, they made a little mistake there. I was a "delegato straordinario", says Bocola.

Karlo Bocola in the editorial office of "Vijesti"
Karlo Bocola in the editorial office of "Vijesti"photo: Private archive

According to him, he visited hospitals all the time and "organized receiving donations, as well as taking care of sick children and wounded persons in BiH for treatment in EU hospitals", says Bocola.

During the war, at the end of 1994 and at the beginning of 1995, he came to the vicinity of Srebrenica three times, as he says.

"When that case happened, I was in Sokolac, in the hospital, and I called the general A young man. I don't know why I called him, but Mladic told me that NATO hit an ambulance in the vicinity of Srebrenica with four wounded Muslims and two Serbian doctors. I immediately went to Srebrenica. They followed the buses that day," says Bocola.

He says they are units Naser Orić killed around 2.000 Serbs and because of this, Bocola explains, Mladić was under great pressure because Orić killed the families of many of his soldiers.

He points out that "in the forests around Srebrenica, both civilians and Orić's soldiers who followed those columns died". He quickly corrects himself and says that those civilians were also armed.

When asked if he personally saw it, Bocola recalls that he saw a column of refugees in the vicinity of Vlasenica. He informed the commander, he says Zvonka Bajagić (known by the nickname Duga Puška - ed. author) and, as he says, ran towards an armed soldier from that column and said to him:

"Don't shoot, I'm Unprofor! Nothing will happen to you!”

According to Bocola's testimony, he saved those Bosniaks, because later Bajagić "escorted" them towards Zenica.

Bocola says that he saw civilians killed on the side of the road, but adds that "there were Serbs among them", but that he "wasn't allowed to talk about it".

Then, in his narration, he moves to the hospital in Milići, which, he says, was full of wounded civilians from around Bratunac. He helped with medicines and a glucose truck that he had in his vehicles.

He returns to Srebrenica, but rather confusedly explains that in the period from July 11 to 15 he was not in Srebrenica itself, but immediately afterwards explains that he was with the unpro-forces and with Mladić "when it was about the bus". It is, in fact, about the famous scene when Mladić enters a bus full of Bosniaks and promises that nothing will happen to them.

"He (Mladić - author's note) then told them that anyone can go, they can stay, they won't miss a hair," says Bocola, adding that Mladić said that he cannot be responsible for what happened happening around", but that "it's good that Unprofor came".

"Civilians were collateral damage," says Bocola and adds that by 1996, around 1.600 civilians and around 2.400 soldiers, as he says, "Muslims", were killed in Srebrenica and its surroundings. According to Bocola, he got this information from the "blue helmets".

"I heard that from them, there, directly. I claim that this is true three hundred percent," said Karlo Bocola.

When reminded that he says in his statement that "Muslims brought the dead from other regions" and asked if he personally saw this and if there is any evidence for such a claim, Bocola says that many people from Zenica were buried in Srebrenica "without Serb control".

Regarding the information about over 8.000 Bosniaks who died, Bocola only says:

“No, that's not true.”

Since he claims that only 250 civilians died in Srebrenica, when asked if this means, according to his interpretation, that around 8.000 human bodies were transferred from other parts of BiH to Srebrenica and if there is evidence for such claims:

"Listen, there are a lot of recordings... Those were official statements, it's someone's strategy. They had some project for sure".

When asked if he knows anything about mass graves, Bocola says he doesn't because "he wasn't there during that period". Also, he had not even heard of the Skorpioni paramilitary formation, whose videos of civilian executions were made public.

Bocola explains that he contacted Knežević when "this story about genocide started, but there was no genocide".

He says that he swore to Knežević personally that the statement was true.

"Come" is Milan Knežević, Karlo, you swear that all this is true. I swear, it's the living truth," says Bocola.

When asked why there is no date on the statement, he says:

"That statement was written a long time ago, it was prepared ten years ago. Now I just restored it," he explains.

The statement was printed on the letterhead of FID H (International Federation for Human Rights) and Lege Italiana.

Responding to the observation that the letterhead also has the UN and EU logos, Bocola explains that the UN and EU logos were still there in 1991 or 1992 when, as he says, "they gave him a package in Rome".

"That's what I got from Lege Italiana, from the president ... That's my stamp and signature. I had the right to that," adds Bocola and says that these two organizations do not know about this statement.

Finally, he says that he is currently working with his company, which he has had since 1979, and "many other jobs, but all legal."

When asked if he knows that denial of genocide can be a criminal offense, he answers in the affirmative and adds:

"I know, I'm waiting to be called. I prepared for them".

EU: Genocide in Srebrenica is not a matter of opinion

The Delegation of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina points out that "genocide was committed in Srebrenica and that this is not a matter of opinion", but that it is a historical fact, legally established by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 2004 and the International Court of Justice in 2007 .

"Any denial, banalization, justification or glorification of genocide or its perpetrators is unacceptable," the response to Karl Boccola's claims states.

In the written response, it is emphasized that "there is no place in Europe for denial of genocide, revisionism and glorification of war criminals.

"The available data of the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not indicate any involvement of a person named Carlo Bozzola," said the UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Suljagić: I have not heard of that man

"Never in my life or career have I heard of a man by that name. I was in Srebrenica, in the UN base until July 21, 1995. If anyone with that authority had appeared, I would have known about it and probably even met him", said Emir Suljagić, director of the Potočari Memorial Center, answering the question about Karl Boccola.

Suljagić claims that that name is not mentioned in any of the trials conducted before the court in The Hague for Srebrenica, nor in the documents of the Prosecution, nor in the defense documents, at least those that are publicly available.

"I believe that it is an ordinary charlatan", concludes Suljagić.

During the war in Bosnia, Emir Suljagić worked as a translator for the UN and European military observers.

"Samurai Sword"

In 2015, Karla Bocola was accused by a fellow citizen from Danilovgrad of stealing a "samurai sword" from the safe of Societe Generale Montenegro, "with the help of the bank's employees."

Bocola, however, claims that he took the katana from the safe regularly.

He adds that after the report he made a statement at the Prosecutor's Office. "I told them that I have all the documentation, I took this document from the notary to them, so that they can check it at the bank... I signed the statement and left," Bocola said.

Bocola, Aco and Brano

As he says, Karlo Bocola personally knew Giuseppe Selzi, who opened the case of cigarette smuggling from Montenegro to Italy in 2001.

Portal Borba.me, writing about this topic, also mentioned Bocola.

As it is stated, in Mićunović's file, he, together with Aco Đukanović, established connections with individuals from Italy, who the local police identified as members of mafia organizations in that country, back in the 1990s, according to this portal.

"They established cooperation with them in the cigarette trade, and later in some other activities. In that circle were also some people from Serbia, Vlado Brkić from Croatia (the media in that country called him the "Croatian godfather of the Balkan mafia", ed.) and Vanja Bokan from Athens (killed in 2000 in the capital of Greece, ed. . aut.). The liaison with the Italians was a certain Karlo Bocola, who was in Montenegro at the beginning of October 2007 and suggested to Mićunović that he write a letter that he would personally forward and explain to the investigative authorities in Italy, in connection with the court proceedings against Mićunović. by the court of cassation in Bari", says the report of the Montenegrin service.

"Yes, I am good friends with him (Giuseppe Selzij - ed. author). Now, as I'm a good friend, that's another story, but it has nothing to do with Montenegro," says Bocola.

He then recounts the conversation with Selzi in which he agreed with the Italian prosecutor that, as he says, Montenegro would help catch criminals involved in cigarette smuggling, but not to touch "Montenegrin leaders".

"Who did you mean?"

"Well, to Bran Mićunović and Ac".

"Which father? Aca Đukanović?”

"Yes, yes, Aca Đukanović".

"And what happened next?"

"Shelzy asked me if I could finish it and if he could send one of his men to Montenegro with me. I told him that I can and that if something is disputed between Italy and Montenegro, they will help".

"What happened next?"

"I told Bran what I had agreed on and he told me 'you are our brother'".

Bocola claims that he sent his assistant Selza with him to Montenegro and that later everything "went according to agreement", as well as that after that Montenegro started to cooperate with Interpol.

An independent source, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed that Bocola knows prosecutor Selzi and has contacted him.

Bocola and the release of the pilot

On August 30, 1995, the Republika Srpska army shot down a French plane from which two pilots jumped out and were later captured.

"When I heard that, I immediately called General Mladic so that they would not be killed by civilians because they bombed there, they will be needed for the exchange. And he called right away and Mladić saved those pilots," Bocola recalls.

As he explains, he requested that he "carry out the exchange". Since Mladić allowed him, he went to Trieste, called the French embassy and made the exchange.

“Can you get them out? I can. OK, do it," said the French, Bocola describes.

He doesn't want to explain the details.

"What I asked for in return is a secret. It's nothing warlike, it's peaceful," he adds.

French General Pierre-Marie Gallois, who was the mediator between Mladic and the French state, describes this event in a very different way. Mladić asked Galo that the high-ranking French officer come here "where my soldiers will officially meet and greet him, and the two of us will shake hands and forget the sad French-Serbian dispute".

However, it was not until December 12, when the signatories of the Dayton Agreement gathered in Paris, that President Mitterrand allegedly issued an ultimatum to General Mladić and sent, as agreed, the French army to take over the pilots.

Bocola claims that he participated in the evacuation of an American pilot on June 8, 1995.

"The American fell in Glin. The doctor told me that. I said, well, we'll save that pilot. I called Mladic so that they don't touch him and I asked him: can I exchange it? You always ask for something, well, you can," Mladić told him, as Bocola testified.

As in the case of the French pilots, he went to Trieste, called the carabinieri, explained to them what it was about, and soon "twelve from Aviano, from the command" came to him. Of course, Bocola called Mladić, who told him that he would withdraw the army from the territory where the pilot is located.

"Let them come and take him freely," said Mladić Bocoli.

That's how it was, at least according to Boccola's story, and afterwards, as he says, "Clinton had a party in Aviano". They also invited Bocola, but he couldn't go to the celebration because he "went to the battlefield", but he adds: "I did it, it was my merit".

American F-16 pilot Scott O'Grady told how his aircraft was spotted by a mobile rocket unit of the Serbian army and shot down over Republika Srpska in June 1995, during NATO's rocket attack on Bosnian Serb positions.

Ogrejdi parachuted into Serbian territory, and then a frantic search for him began. At one point, the Serbian helicopter hunting him was, according to him, so close that he could see the faces of the soldiers in it.

Ogrejdi managed to send a signal from his location, so four helicopters came for him about 100 kilometers deep in Serbian territory. Another 40 NATO aircraft were in that area as additional support.

Privatization of the Institute

In 2018, as part of the privatization of the Institute in Igalo, Karlo Bocola and his business partner sent a letter of intent.

"I gathered some rich people from Italy. We were ready to invest 200 million euros, but they didn't invite me," explains Bocola.

HRA: A question of basic humanity

It is obvious that this is a subterfuge aimed at denying the genocide in Srebrenica. However, what is unusual is that such gross subterfuge is promoted by Milan Knežević, the president of the parliamentary party that participates in the government of Montenegro, says Tea Gorjanc Prelević, executive director of the NGO Action for Human Rights (HRA).

The competent state prosecutor should evaluate both Knežević's and Boccola's actions in light of the prohibition of denying genocide from the Criminal Code. Denial is unfortunately the final stage of genocide, which heralds the next one, adds Gorjanc Prelevic.

The ultimate goal of such subterfuge is the protection of unpunished perpetrators, of which there are still many. The systematic killing of over 8000 civilians in Srebrenica was not an easy task, even technically. In several of its judgments, based on thousands of pieces of evidence, the Hague Tribunal also determined the technology of that crime in the form of procurement of equipment for those murders, mechanization, digging up and then burying bodies in mass graves, and later transferring them to other places in an attempt to hide the crime . A lot of people participated in all this and have not yet responded. That is why the UN resolution reminds us of the need for justice to reach all of them, said the executive director of HRA

I am sorry that this is happening on the public stage of Montenegro, I only hope that the victims' families keep in mind that at the same time as this denial of genocide, as many as 110 active non-governmental organizations in Montenegro, all opposition parliamentary parties, one in power and two non-parliamentary ones, and over 500 prominent citizens demand from the Montenegrin Government not only that Montenegro vote for the UN resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica, but also to sponsor it together with other 38 countries. For us, recognizing the genocide and respecting the victims in Srebrenica is a matter of basic humanity, emphasizes Tea Gorjanc Prelevic, executive director of the NGO Action for Human Rights (HRA).

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