At the trial of three Bosnian Serbs for war crimes in 1992, witnesses recalled violent assaults on prisoners at a village school near the town of Visegrad.
Witness Salko Sabanovic told the court on Tuesday that defendant Milos Pantelic beat him up while he was detained at a primary school in the village of Orahovci, hitting him several times and knocking out his teeth.
He added that he was beaten by other people too, but refused to give their names for fear of retribution.
“There were more of them, but I won’t say who were the ones who hit me. I want to be able to return to my town,” said Sabanovic.
Pantelic, together with Predrag Milisavljevic and Ljubomir Tasic, is charged with participating in murders, the forced transfer of people and other inhumane acts.
The indictment says that Milisavljevic and Pantelic committed the offences in 1992 while they were police reservists in Visegrad and Tasic was serving with the Bosnian Serb Army.
The second witness for the prosecution on Tuesday, Islam Cero, said that in late May 1992 he was among the group of captured civilians together with Sabanovic.
He said that some of 15 to 20 civilians held captive in the school in Orahovci were taken out for interrogation and returned covered in blood.
“They took Sabanovic out during the night. His head was all bloody,” said Cero, adding that he did not know who hit Sabanovic.
The witness said that he saw defendant Pantelic among the soldiers at the school, saying that they previously worked together at the local sawmill.
He said that he had also seen Pantelic among soldiers who were standing near burning houses.
He added that he had seen Pantelic with a can of petrol earlier on the road to the school and that he saw the defendant pour the petrol over a stable and another soldier light it up.
The trial is set to resume on March 26.