At the trial for war crimes committed in the Croatian military prison Kerestinec in 1992, one of the former prisoners testified that he had been told by the prison guards that it was an “Ustasa camp”.
At the Monday’s hearing two witnesses testified that they were raped and sexually harassed while detained in Kerestinec, a military complex which used to be the former Yugoslav People’s Army airbase.
The prison commander Stjepan Klaric and his four subordinates, Drazen Pavlovic, Viktor Ivancin, Zeljko Zivec and Goran Strukelj, are charged with the physical and psychological torture of detainees, and the sexual abuse of female prisoners during second half of 1991 and first several months of 1992.
"While in Kerestinec I was raped many times, maybe 15 or 20, by unknown persons in civilian clothes. They were under the command of a person nicknamed Doctor,” testified Rajka Majkic, who was captured in Sisak together with her husband in January 1992.
She said she was also tortured in the notorious “black room” where she was beaten and given electro shocks.
"I remember one evening, we were forced to dance in the hallway. Women were forced to bare their breasts while men had to have their lower parts of body nude," Majkic said.
Another witness, Milos Crnkovic, who was brought to Kerestinec after he was captured in Sisak in early 1992 had similar recollections.
"After we were brought to Kerestinec, we were told that this is ‘Ustasha’ camp," Crnkovic said.
During the Second World War the Independent State of Croatia, NDH, a puppet government of Nazi Germany, was run by local Croatian Fascists known as the Ustasha.
During its four years existence, the Ustasha regime perpetrated genocide against the Croatian Serbs, Roma and Jews.
Milos Crnkovic testified that men imprisoned in Kerestinec were forced several times to take off their pants, and women to undress their shirts and they were sexually harassed and beaten.
He specified that men named Goran, Viktor and Ivo tortured them, together with a man nicknamed Okac.
Former Kerestinec prison guard Davor Mirenic confirmed that persons who were not part of prison staff would come to torture prisoners.
"Men in black clothes used to come to [the prison commander] Klaric, and afterwards the guards would allow them to interrogate the prisoners," Mirenic said.
Another former guard, Mario Gulina, also confirmed that the outsiders came to prison, but he said that he did not know whether they interrogated the prisoners.
The trial continues on September 26.