At the trial of five ex members of the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, for crimes committed in the Dretelj camp near Capljina, a former guard said that he saw Serb prisoners being abused in 1992.
Testifying before the Bosnian State Court, Zoran Brvenik said that he joined the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, in July 1992, and that subsequently he was sent to the Dretelj army barracks, where he stayed for three months.
Brvenik said that he saw around 80 male and around 15 female Bosnian Serbs in the Dretelj camp in 1992.
“They slept in a hangar. It was dark... They slept on wooden planks or concrete. An awful stench emanated from there, I guess they were reliving themselves inside,” recalled Brvenik.
According to Brvenik, prisoners were forced to work in the barracks and some were beaten.
“When I arrived I saw bruises and bandages on them... I saw Maks Makitan [a HOS member] beat up three or four of them with his hands and fists. It seems that his cousin got killed, so he started beating them when he heard about it. That’s the only thing I saw,” he said.
The prosecution charges Ivan Zelenika, Srecko Herceg, Edib Buljubasic, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic with crimes committed against several hundred Bosnian Serbs in 1992 in Dretelj.
According to the indictment, Zelenika was a HOS officer, Herceg was the former commander of the Dretelj camp, Buljubasic his deputy, while Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic were camp guards. According to the indictment, all of them forced prisoners to hard labour and tortured them, and as a consequence of the abuse, several prisoners died.
In April last year, Ahmet Makitan also known as Maks, was sentenced in Sweden to five years of prison for the crimes committed against Serbs in 1992 in Dretelj.
Brvenik said he heard that the Serb prisoners were also sexually abused before he came to Dretelj, but he saw no such thing while he was there.
Buljubasic, who is serving a sentence in the Zenica prison for several murders, refused to attend the trial, but the process commenced anyway in the presence of his lawyer Todor Todorovic.
Zelenika, Herceg, Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic have been in custody since February.
The trial will resume on October 2.