BELGRADE -- The former director of a Serbian bus company says the firm's buses were used to transport Bosnian Muslims from the town of Srebrenica after it fell to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.
It's the first confirmation from Serbia that buses from the country were used at Srebrenica, a claim that has been made by some Bosnian Muslim survivors from Srebrenica but previously denied by officials in Serbia.
Miroslav Nenadic, who headed the Raketa bus company in the Serbian town of Uzice in July 1995, told RFE/RL that someone in the then self-declared Republika Srpska called and requested that five Raketa buses be driven to the village of Dobruna where they would pick up a Bosnian Serb military officer and continue to Srebrenica.
Nenadic said the buses were used by the Bosnian Serb forces for five or six days.
He said he does not know exactly where they drove the Bosnian Muslims after they left Srebrenica or if they drove men or women and children.
But he added that they went "wherever they were told to go."
Nenadic said his buses returned to Uzice -- which is about 50 kilometers from Srebrenica -- one day before "that which happened in Srebrenica."
Beginning on July 12, thousands of Bosnian Muslim boys and men from Srebrenica and the nearby town of Zepa were transported to nearby places where they were detained and massacred over a period of several days.
Munira Subasic, whose husband and several male relatives were killed in the massacre, told RFE/RL that "there was Raketa Uzice, there was Belgrade-trans Strela Valjevo. Almost all of the buses were from Serbia, Montenegro, and the Republika Srpska....
"This means everything was planned, everything was known in advance.... Belgrade organized it."
But Mirsad Tokaca, the head of the Investigation-Documentation Center (IDC) in Sarajevo, has collected thousands of testimonies from alleged war crimes witnesses.
He said he cannot remember any information about buses from Serbia being mentioned.
Nastasa Kandic, head of the Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Fund, told RFE/RL that The Hague war crimes trials have not proved conclusively that Serbian companies provided buses for Srebrenica but that it could be investigated.
She added that there will be a need to "establish how much public companies, on the orders of the DB [Serbian state security agency], the [Serbian] Interior Ministry, and other political institutions took part in deportations, the forced internal migration of the Bosnian population, and how much in transporting prisoners to the execution sites."
Zoran Janic, a Belgrade publicist and translator who wrote a book about the deaths of Belgrade state television workers killed by a NATO bomb in 1999, wrote recently: "The German railways publicly apologized to the Jews because their trains were used for their transport to the concentration camps.
"What should we do in Serbia, half a century [after the Holocaust], where there has been no apology and we know that the buses with which Srebrenica [Muslims] were transported to the execution site were all from Serbia?"