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Ex-Prisoner Recalls Detentions, Beatings in Brcko

20. December 2016.16:49
A prosecution witness at the trial of Brcko’s wartime presidency chief Djordje Ristanic said prisoners were beaten and killed while he was detained in April 1992, and that he saw the defendant at one detention site.

Witness Sakib Husrefovic told the state court on Tuesday that in late April 1992, he was taken, along with his brothers and neighbours, to a mosque in Kolubara.

“An anti-aircraft gun was in front of the mosque…The ‘Mauzer’ unit was there,” Husrefovic said.

“Whoever they took away would come back covered with blood. Many did not return. They took them to the dispensary basement. They tied my brother to a radiator and beat him up,” he added.

The witness said he was transferred together with a group of other men to the premises of the Laser transport company three days later, while another group was taken to the military barracks. He said that the prisoners were tired, hungry and thirsty.

Husrefovic said that men called Kemo and Muzafer were killed at the Laser premises, adding that he saw two men beat them with wooden sticks.

The witness recalled how he was transferred, on May 8, to a hangar in Luka, from which people were “taken out and killed”. He said he saw another murder there.

He said, while he was in Luka, he saw defendant Djordje Ristanic with an inspector called Dragisa.

“I saw him when they gave us papers saying we were good guys and we could go home,” Husrefovic said.

Ristanic, former president of the wartime presidency in Brcko, has been charged with participating in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at persecuting Bosniaks and Croats by killing, detaining, torturing and committing other crimes against them from April to December 1992.

In a separate hearing on Tuesday, witness Semir Salcin told the state court that detainees were mistreated and beaten at a detention camp in Bileca on a daily basis.

Salcin said about ten detainees were held in a small room, where they remained for three or four days.

“Mavrak, deputy prison manager Bosnjak, a guy called Grubi and Cizma used to enter those premises,” the witness said.

Later on they were transferred to a big hall, where “between 150 and 200 people” were held, he added.

The witness said his brother was “clinically dead” after having been beaten by Mavrak, Bosnjak and Grubi. He was saved by a soldier who brought a paramedic to help him.

Boris Bosnjak, Milos Mavrak, Miodrag Grubacic and Ilija Djajic are on trial for beating up prisoners in former Mosa Pijade military barracks in Bileca.

According to the charges, they are former members of the Bosnian Serb Army who worked as guards at the detention camp.

Mirnes Kovač