Detainee Recalls Beating by Kotor-Varos Policeman

31. October 2016.17:17
At the trial of five former policemen and an ex-soldier for crimes against Bosniaks and Croats in the Kotor-Varos area, a prosecution witness said he was beaten up by one of the defendants.

Prosecution witness Adem Djuvelek told the state court in Sarajevo on Monday that he was beaten up by the defendant Dusko Vujicic and another man in a prison behind the court building in Kotor-Varos in 1992.

Djuvelek said that Vujicic and a man named Dusan Krejic came to his home in the village of Ravne in Kotor-Varos municipality in October 1992 and took him to the police station for questioning.

Afterwards, he was transferred to the prison behind the court building in Kotor-Varos, where other Bosniaks were held as well.

“At around 9 pm, they called my name out and told me to leave the room. Dusko Vujicic and Dusan Krejic began beating me immediately, asking for money. I had no money. They hit me, stepped on me, knocked me down. I was half dead,” the witness recalled.

He said they hit him with fists and kicked him with military boots.

Vujicic is on trial alongside Savo Tepic, Dragoslav Bojic, Dusko Maksimovic, Radojko Keverovic and Ilija Kurusic for participated in the detention and torture of Bosniaks and Croats in Kotor-Varos and for committing other inhumane acts against them.

The indictment alleges that Tepic was the chief of the public security station in Kotor-Varos, Bojic was the commander of the police station, Vujicic was an active policeman, Maksimovic and Keverovic were reservist policemen, while Kurusic was a the Bosnian Serb Army soldier.

In a separate trial at the state court on Monday, a prosecution witness testified that his brother was covered with blood and bruises when he fled the ‘Crna Kuca’ (Black House) detention centre in the village of Kruscica in the Vitez area.

Minet Akeljic, Saban Haskic, Senad Bilal, Hazim Patkovic and Semsudin Djelilovic are on trial for crimes against Croat civilians and prisoners of war in Kruscica from July to November 1993.

The indictment alleges that Akeljic, the former commander of the military police with the First Battalion of the Bosnian Army’s 325th Mountain Brigade, and Haskic, Bilal, Patkovic and Djelilovic, all former members of the unit, mentally and physically abused prisoners at Crna Kuca.

Witness Zoran Strukar said his brother Goran Strukar was captured in Gacice village in the Vitez municipality at the beginning of July 1993, while cutting grass with three neighbours.

He said his brother escaped from Crna Kuca in late July 1993 and returned home.

“When I saw him after his arrival, he did not look like himself. He wore a JNA [Yugoslav People’s Army] military uniform, which was covered with blood. His hair was cut, his eye was swollen. His lip was blue and swollen as well. He could hardly talk. When he undressed, I noticed his back was covered with bruises as well,” the witness recalled.

He said he went to the police station in Vitez with his brother a couple of days later, when they were shown some photographs and copies of ID cards.

“On the basis of those photographs, he recognised the men who were present at Crna Kuca. He said Minet Akeljic was the commander of police, while Saban Haskic and a man called Bilal, whose last name I cannot remember, were the ones who beat him,” the witness said.

Urednik Detektor