At the trial of four former members of the Croatian Defence Force, a Bosnian prosecution witness said he heard about rapes, sexual abuse and the murder of a prisoner in Dretelj.
Sead Kurtic, former member of the Croatian Defence Force, said that in 1992 he was on duty as storage keeper in the Dretelj barracks near Capljina where he saw captured Serb men and women.
“I think they were imprisoned for their ethnicity,” said the witness, adding that he had heard from other soldiers that some of them were beaten.
Responding to questions from the prosecution, the witness said he also heard of a murder in Dretelj, while people talked of rapes of men and the sexual abuse of women.
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Ivan Zelenika, Srecko Herceg, Edib Buljubasic, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic with crimes against Bosnian Serb civilians detained in the Dretelj camp in 1992.
According to the indictment, Zelenika was an officer of the Croatian Defence Force, Herceg was commander of the Dretelj camp, Buljubasic was his deputy, while Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic were guards.
The indictment specifies that they all took part in torture and in forcing prisoners to do hard labour, while several people died from the abuse.
Kurtic testified that he was entrusted with the keys to the warehouse and a uniform in Dretelj by Ivan Pertusic. He added that he saw Edib Buljubasic in the facility, but did not know what position he held at the time.
“Srecko Herceg would also come and go. He always carried some notebooks and wrote something in them,” said the witness, adding that he never saw Herceg issue orders.
Kurtic knew defendant Marina Grubisic from Capljina, he said. He saw her in Dretelj, too.
“She held no rank, she was a soldier like me,” explained the witness.
Prisoners in Dretelj, he said, were held not far from his warehouse and were locked up there.
“They received food, and were let out and locked up back again by soldiers on guard duty,” he said, adding that he did not know who was in charge of guarding the prisoners.
The trial will resume on February 26.