Jezik / Language:
1 February 2013

Avdovic and Vintila: Bosnian Serbs Beaten in Former Barracks

At the trial for crimes in the Viktor Bubanj army barracks in Sarajevo, a prosecution witness said that while imprisoned defendant Iulian Vintila beat him, he was also slapped by the other defendant, Ramiz Avdovic, after the witness had declared his ethnicity.
Witness Zeljko Kljajic, said that he was taken from his house in the settlement of Velesici in November 1992 with other Serb neighbours, first to the rooms of Vranica in Pofalici, where he was beaten, after which he was moved to the Viktor Bubanj army barracks.

“I was already half-dead from beating in Pofalici when the five of us were brought to the barracks,” said Kljajic.

Upon entering the barracks’ corridor, the witness said, he met the defendant, Iulian-Nicolae Vintila, who pushed him to the wall and hit him. “He hit me with a fist and I immediately fell. He was the worst and I think even the grandchildren of the prisoners who were there with me will know his name,” said the witness.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Ramiz Avdovic and Iliuan-Nicolaea Vintila with crimes committed in the Viktor Bubanj barracks.

They are charged, as members of the joint criminal enterprise, with taking part in the establishment and maintenance of the system of abuse of Serb civilians between late June and late November 1992. The Viktor Bubanj Barracks was renovated after the war and today it is the home of the Bosnian State Court.

According to the indictment, Avdovic was a guard commander in all the facilities, and Vintila a cook and guard in the barracks.

Kljajic said that he was placed with others in a cell, which was very small. He added that the conditions were so bad that everyone got lice in their hair, while for a meal they got tea and a piece of bread, and sometimes water in which pasta was boiled with bread.

The witness recalled that Vintila forced him to clean faeces in the toilet with his hand and that he tortured him “in the true sense of the word”.

The witness claimed that Ramiz Avdovic was shift commander, since he checked upon them in the mornings. One time, said Kljajic, he had a problem with Avdovic, who slapped him twice after he declared his ethnicity.

“I was already numb from all the beating, so I felt it like it was more like a caress,” said the witness.

The witness said that he was being tried for the criminal act of armed rebellion, and that he served two-and-a-half of a four year eight month-sentence in the Central Prison. “It was a politically staged process,” he added.

The trial is set to resume on February 8.
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