News 04 Dec 12

Witness Testifies About Murder in Dretelj Camp

At the trial of former members of the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, a witness for the prosecution said he and his father were beaten in 1992 in the Dretelj camp.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

Testifying before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milivoje Gruzevic, a Bosnian Serb,  said that he was brought with his parents to Dretelj in July 1992.

“Ahmet Makitan took us to clean a room. He pulled out a banknote and asked whose it is. I turned around and he started beating me. Then he took us out to clean a car and I saw they pushed my father into a puddle and beat him. I was hit two or three times,” said the witness.

Ahmet Makitan a.k.a Maks was sentenced in Sweden to five years of prison for the crimes committed in Dretelj.

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, who were detained in the Dretelj camp in 1992.

According to the indictment Zelenika was an officer of the Croatian Defence Forces, Herceg was the 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 forcing prisoners to hard labour, while several people died from the consequences of the abuse.

Gruzevic said that while he was in Dretelj, Bozo Balaban was beaten and died soon after. According to the witness, Edib Buljubasic was among the men who beat him.

“In the evening they called him to the window, and he went and got the first blow there. Then they took him out and beat him. They used whatever they got, batons, shovel, feet. Then they handcuffed him to the bars and he was dead by the morning,” said Gruzevic.

During the cross-examination, the witness said that he recognised Buljubasic by his voice. The defendant, Buljubasic, said it was his first workday and he told the Trial Chamber that everything the witness said about Balaban’s murder was true.

Gruzevic said that prisoners in Dretelj were abused by Marina Grubisic and that she “initiated the abuse”. He said that once she forced prisoners to have oral sex with each other.

Gruzevic also said that he recognised Marina Grubisic-Fejzic by her voice.

He said that the warden of Dretelj was named Srecko, emphasising that he heard this from other prisoners.

The trial will resume on December 11.

 

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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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