News 05 Feb 13

Bosnia Prison Camp Detainees ‘Abused’

A former Croat fighter said he was told about the abuse, rape and murder of Serb prisoners at the Dretelj wartime detention centre in southern Bosnia.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

Prosecution witness Dervis Kurtic, a former member of the Croatian Defence Forces, told a Sarajevo court on Tuesday that in summer 1992 he was stationed at Dretelj, a former Yugoslav Army barracks that became a notorious prison camp during the Bosnian conflict.

He said that Serb civilians were locked up at the camp near the town of Capljina, but he did not personally see them being assaulted.

“I heard they were abused, and that the [protected] Witness A was raped. From soldiers and people from the town telling stories, I heard there was a murder,” said Kurtic.

Edib Buljubasic, Ivan Zelenika, Srecko Herceg, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic are being tried for alleged crimes against Serb prisoners at Dretelj in 1992.

They are all accused of being involved in torture and forcing prisoners into hard labour at the camp, where several people died as a result of being abused.

Kurtic said that Buljubasic was the deputy commander of the camp.

“He gave out all the commands and everyone knew he was in charge,” Kurtic said.

The indictment alleges that Herceg was the camp’s commandant, but the witness said he was not in a position to issue orders.

“He was a soldier and I know he was in charge of some kind of record keeping,” Kurtic said.

The trial will resume on February 12.

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Background

Timeline: Cases for War Crimes in Pec Villages

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlan in Kosovo in 1999.

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