Witness Recalls Beatings, Murders of Kotor-Varos Prisoners

14. October 2016.16:26
A prosecution witness told the trial of six former Bosnian Serb fighters that he saw the beating and killing of detained Bosniaks and Croat civilians in Kotor-Varos in 1992. Witness Sefik Varosic told the state court in Sarajevo on Friday that he was captured by soldiers in the village of Vrbanjica in the Kotor-Varos municipality on June 25, 1992, detained in terrible conditions and beaten.

“They first took us in front of the petrol station and told us to enter the basement premises. Water was up to our knees, with frogs in it. The room smelled badly. They ordered us to lie down, so only our heads were above the water’s surface,” Varosic said.

“When we were taken out of the basement, a few guys were taken to another location in order to dig trenches. They never came back,” he added.

He said he and some other prisoners were transferred a day later to a prison behind the court building in Kotor-Varos, where he fainted several times because he was hit while passing between two rows of special policemen.

“Our skin was black with bloody bruises when we entered the room. We saw some men from Kotor. They were covered with blood. Some were crying, others were moaning,” he said.

The witness said a few detainees were taken out to be beaten up, while some died in the prison.

“I stayed there for 65 days. There was not enough room for everybody, so we had to stand close to each other. The conditions were horrible. We defecated in that room and then threw it out with our own hands,” Varosic said.

Bosko Peulic, Slobodan Zupljanin, Aleksandar Petrovic, Manojlo Tepic, Janko Trivic and Nedeljko Djekanovic are charged with participating in a widespread and systematic attack against the Croat and Bosniak population in the Kotor-Varos area from the beginning of June 1992 to mid-1994.

They are accused of persecuting the Croat and Bosniak population by committing murders, carrying out deportations, detaining, torturing and raping people and forcing them to work.

The indictment alleges that Peulic was the commander of the Third Tactical Group of the Bosnian Serb Army, Zupljanin was the commander of its Second Battalion, Petrovic was the commander of the First Company with the Second Battalion, Tepic was the commander of the Territorial Defence force in Kotor-Varos, Trivic was the commander of the 22nd Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, while Djekanovic was the president of the Kotor-Varos municipality and president of the local Crisis Committee.

In another hearing at the state court on Friday, the defence for former Bosnian Serb soldier Pero Radisic asked the court to acquit him, saying that the allegations that he committed crimes against Bosniak civilians in Teslic municipality had not been proved.

The state prosecution has charged Radisic, former commander of a working squad with the Teslicka Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, with having taken several people to places where they had to do forced labour.

As a consequence, at least six people got killed on the frontline, while several were wounded.

Urednik Detektor