The Murder of the Kozbašić Family in Petrinja

On 5 November 1991, all four members of the Kozbašić family were killed in one of a series of horrific crimes committed in the city of Petrinja.

After Petrinja was occupied in September 1991, Milan Kozbašić, an ethnic Croat, remained in the city with his wife Gordana, a Serb and their two young children Alen (8) and Tamara (13). During the night of 4 November 1991, two armed members of the so-called Serbian Autonomous Region (SAR) of Krajina’s special militia unit broke into the Kozbašić’s home at 11 Ivan Meštrović Street where they first killed little Alen on the ground floor and then the rest of the family in the attic.

All members of the Kozbašić family were shot in the head through a pillow with Scorpion submachine guns and their killers stole the family’s clothes and fleeing the crime scene stole their clothes and Kozbašić’s gold chain. The father of the murdered Gordana Kozbašić managed to transport all the victims’ bodies to the town of Gornja Sanica near Ključ in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) where he buried them. Shortly before their murder, Milan Kozbašić refused to answer the rebel Serbs’ call for mobilization in occupied Petrinja.

The murder of the Kozbašić family is just one in a series of war crimes against the civilian population during the occupation of Petrinja. The details of this event were documented by Ivica Pandža-Orkan in his book “Krajina Through Documents” and a reconstruction of the brutal murders was televised on the “Investigation” program on Nova TV tens years ago. In June 2018, the Zagreb County State Attorney’s Office filed an indictment for the murder of the Kozbašić family against two citizens of the Republic of Serbia, a 71-year-old and a 62-year-old who were members of the so-called special militia unit of SAR Krajina. Of course, the duo was not available to the Croatian judiciary and are most likely located in the Republic of Serbia.

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