The trial of five Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats accused of war crimes committed in Mostar and the Dretelj prison, began at the State Court in Sarajevo.
Prosecutor Remzija Smailagic said that during the trial she would prove that the defendants, as members of the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, committed crimes against humanity.
“We will prove that Serb civilians were the first targets of the Croatian Defence Forces…We will prove that only imprisoned civilians of Serb nationality were humiliated and forced to have sexual intercourse,” said Smailagic.
Four Bosnian Croats, Ivan Zelenika, Srecko Herceg, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic and a Bosniak, Edib Buljubasic, are charged with taking part in crimes against several hundred Bosnian Serbs from the territory of municipalities of Mostar, Ljubuski, Capljina and Stolac, who were imprisoned in the Dretelj camp in 1992.
Marina Grubisic-Fejzic is one of a few women being charged with war crimes during the Bosnian war.
The Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, was a joint Croat and Bosniak paramilitary unit formed at the beginning of the Bosnian conflict. They fought Bosnian Serb forces in southern Herzegovina.
Prosecutor Smailagic said that Zelenika was charged, as a HOS officer, with illegally detaining several Serb civilians in the military infirmary in Mostar.
“Prisoners were held in the infirmary in unhygienic conditions, in a tight space, forced to labour, exposed to ridicule and humiliation by Ivan Zelenika and others”, said the prosecutor.
According to the indictment, Herceg was the former commander of the Dretelj camp, Buljubasic was his deputy, while Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic were camp guards.
The prosecution specified that Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic attacked prisoners on several occasions, and took part in forcing them to have sexual intercourse.
“All the accused committed, instigated or assisted in the crimes that they are charged with. Zelenika and Buljubasic are also charged with failure to punish the subordinates,” said the prosecutor, emphasising that the indictment contains an element of a joint criminal enterprise.
Zelenika, Herceg, Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic have been in custody since February. Buljubasic is serving time in the Zenica prison for 4 murders committed before and after the Bosnian war, including the murder of his own father.
The first prosecution witness will be examined on July 3.