Testifying at the trial for crimes committed in Hadzici near Sarajevo, a prosecution witness recalled the abuse at the Silos detention camp.
Radmilo Sogura, a Bosnian Serb, told the court that on June 8, 1992, one of the accused, Mirsad Sabic, took him from his family house to a school building in the village of Pazaric, where he was beaten up and interrogated.
“I saw soldiers in front of the school building. I heard somebody shout: ‘Line up!’ In the corridor leading to the gym, I was hit with a rifle butt. Mirsad Sabic walked in front of us. He told them to take us to the gym,” the witness said.
Mirsad Sabic, former police commander in Pazaric, is charged alongside Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Nezir Kaziz, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember with crimes committed in the Krupa military barracks, the 9th May school building and the Silos concentration camp.
The indictment alleges that the former representatives of civil, military and police authorities participated in a systematic joint criminal enterprise, within which they committed crimes against Serb civilians and prisoners of war, in the period from 1992 to 1996.
Sogura said that, after having spent three days in the school, he was taken to the Silos camp, where he remained until February 1993, when he was exchanged. He said that he was not beaten up in Silos, but he experienced “the biggest humiliation”.
“They told me to take a bucket, which we, the prisoners, used for urination. I had to pour the content of the bucket over my head. This humiliated me more than anything else in the world. This happened in the first days after my arrival to the detention camp, where I stayed for months. I did not have a chance to wash myself afterwards, ” the witness said.
Sogura pointed out that Becir Hujic was the warden of the Silos camp and the he also saw one of the defendants, Nermin Kalember, known as Buba, guarding the camp.
“I once asked Kalember to bring me some bread. He cursed and said: ‘I should bring you bread and you want to kill me’. He was strict and arrogant. He thought that he was a supreme authority, given the fact that he had a rifle. I heard that he beat some people up, but I did not see,” the witness said.
As he said, during the first months the prisoners used to get two or three spoons of food and one small slice of bread.
“The cell in which we stayed was dark and grey, with cobwebs. There was darkness in the detention camp during all those months of my detention,” the witness said.
The trial will continue on July 19.