Tuzlanska Kapija massacre commemorated for the 25th time

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Source: Anadolija

The Tuzlanska Kapija (Gate) shelling was commemorated Monday by victims' families, associations and local authorities, who laid wreaths at memorial sites, marking the 25th anniversary of the killing of 71 residents of this central Bosnian city.

Zilha Kurtalic lost her 15-year-old daughter Vesna at the gate. She comes to the Youth Alley on every May 25 to commemorate hers and the deaths of other Tuzla residents but 25 years on, the pain only grows.

“She was so young and she loved life. Twenty-five years had passed since she died and the pain is still there,” Zilha told Anadolu Agency, crying.

Adnan Beganovic was 16 when he was killed. Four days earlier, on May 21, he celebrated his birthday.

“He died right after his birthday. It's the same every year. I can't. It's difficult for me to speak right now. I still don't know how Djukic wasn't extradited from Belgrade to answer for this crime. I said it last time and I'll say it again: I'd live for the judge who let him go to look us, parents, in the eye and say ‘I let him go’,” Zekija Beganovic-Mahmutovic, Adnan's mother, told Anadolu Agency.

Bosnian state Court sentenced in 2010 a commander of the Army of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity Novak Djukic to 25 years in prison for ordering the shelling which, according to the indictment, killed 71 and injured more than 140 civilians.

The sentence was reduced in February 2014 to 20 years in prison after the Bosnia's Constitutional Court established a wrong application of the law in Djukic's case. Djukic then departed to Serbia for, as his attorney said, medical treatment and has been unavailable to Bosnia's judicial institutions since then.

Based on an agreement Bosnia and Serbia signed in 2010, Bosnia's judicial institutions asked Serbia to take over the case in order for Djukic to serve the sentence. The whole case turned into a controversy, due to a lack of documents that Djukic's defence team asked for to be delivered from Bosnia's court, which is why the hearing before a Belgrade court has been postponed several times.