News 14 Nov 12

Witness Testifies About Rapes in Dretelj Camp

Testifying at the trial of five ex members of the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, a prosecution witness described rapes in the Dretelj camp.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

The protected witness A told the court that she was brought to the Dretelj military barracks, near Capljina, in May 1992, where she had been raped repeatedly by different people.

The witness said that one of the defendants, Ivan Medic, was one of the men who raped her.

“Medic took me to a room one night and raped me. I resisted. I was surprised, because he had not raped me before. He took me back to the cell and took Jelena out. She told me that he had raped her as well,” the witness A said.

She pointed out that she knew Ivan Medic from before the war, because he “used to take me out and speak to me every day”, adding that he had never even touched her until that night.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Medic, along with Ivan Zelenika, Srecko Herceg, Edib Buljubasic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic, with crimes against Bosnian Serb civilians, who were detained in Dretelj in 1992.

According the indictment Zelenika was a HOS officer, Herceg was the commander of  the Dretelj camp, Buljubasic was his deputy, while Medic and Grubisic-Fejzic were guards.

The witness A said that, after having been brought to the Dretelj camp, she was put in a room together with a few other women, who were raped as well.

“Some time later they took us to the brewery building in order to protect us, as they said. I stayed in that building for three days. I was raped four times during that time,” the witness A said.

She said that a person named Mile told two men from Albania to rape her.

“I was once raped by Hektor Cosic, Jo, the American, who only spoke in English, Cikoja and Salko. All four of them raped me, one after the other,” the witness said.

According to the witness, all women prisoners were transferred form the Dretelj camp to a hangar some time later.

The witness recalled being taken for questioning by Mirsad Repak while in the hangar.

“Mirsad said: ‘Take your clothes off’. Then I was slapped and hit on my back and hands with a police baton. I had to take my clothes off and sit. He hit me on my thighs with the baton. He moved the baton over my legs and a knife over my face and breasts,” the witness said.

Repak was sentenced by a Norwegian court to eight years in prison for crimes in Dretelj.

The trial is due to continue on November 20, when the defence will cross-examine the witness A.

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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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