A Bosnian Serb MP recalled his abuse in the Silos concentration camp and the Krupa barracks at the trial of 9 Bosniaks charged with war crimes in the Hadzici municipality, near Sarajevo.
Testifying for the prosecution, Slavko Jovicic – now a member of the Bosnian Parliament - said that he was taken from his house to Silos in May 1992 and that he was held there together with other Bosnian Serb men.
“The living conditions were not even good for animals. A humane person would not keep an animal in those premises,” Jovicic said, adding that he lost 43 kilograms during his 63-day imprisonment.
Jovicic said that nobody told him why he was brought to Silos and that, upon his arrival to the building, he saw Serif Mesanovic, a deputy warden.
The prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Serif Mesanovic, Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic and Nermin Kalember with crimes committed in the Silos detention camp, the Krupa military barracks and the 9th May school building.
According to the indictment, Becir Hujic and Halid Covic were warden and deputy warden of the Silos camp and Nermin Kalember was a camp guard. The other defendants were members of police, civil and army forces in Hadzici.
Jovicic said that the guard, Nermin Kalember, tortured him twice during his detention in Silos, adding that he heard that he had beaten other prisoners too.
“I once shared a loaf of bread with other detainees. I noticed an extra slice of bread, so I took it and put it in my jacket pocket. Nermin saw that, came to the prison cell and asked for the slice of bread, but I had already shared it with other prosoners. He took me out and beat me up. He hit me on my back with his rifle butt and I fell down,” Jovicic said.
The witness said that, while he was held in the detention camp, he wrote a petition, asking to be shot if he was guilty of something. He said he also managed to speak to the warden about it.
“I told Becir Hujic that I wanted to be brought before a court. I said: ‘Shoot me, because I can no longer bear this’. Hujic told me: ‘You have to be here, because you are preparing an aggression against Muslims,” Jovicic said.
Describing the beatings in Silos, the witness said that between 20 and 30 people came to the building on June 4, 1992 and that they beat the prisoners, adding that it was “the hardest day for detainees”. Jovicic said that Becir Hujic was aware that those people visited the camp.
“When those people came to my cell, they told me and Lazar Krstic to stand aside. One of them hit Lazar. I saw that blood was pouring from Lazar’s body. Somebody hit me on my back with a wooden rod. Then they hit me on my jaw. Blood was pouring, but they continued beating me. I lost conscience,” Jovicic said.
Jovicic said that in late December 1992 he was taken to the Krupa military barracks. He said that the prisoners were taken from Krupa to the front lines in order to dig trenches and be used as human shields. The witness testified that Serif Mesanovic was the warden of the Krupa facility.
Jovicic said that he spent all together 1,334 days in Silos and Krupa facilities.
The examination was interrupted due to the witness’ ill health. It is due to be continued on September 27.