Jezik / Language:
15 March 2013

Everyone Brought in Prisoners As They Pleased

Mirna Buljugic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

At the trial for the crimes in Viktor Bubanj, the former army barracks in Sarajevo, the witness for the prosecution said that the accused Ramiz Avdovic had to admit Serbs into the facility “whom everyone brought in as they pleased”.

The witness, Zlatan Crnkovic, said that he informed the army and state top, but no one had done a thing about it.

Crnkovic, who was in May 1992 transferred from the Ministry of the Interior in Sarajevo to the Military Police of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was less than a month later moved to Viktor Bubanj with an assignment to interrogate Serbs who were brought in for possession of illegal arms, bombs or signaling from their houses.

“People were brought in without criminal charges, so I had to go ask for additional information in order to fill up the reports”, said the witness.

He added that he had warned that a man could not be brought by only saying that he had a rifle, because there had to be a written document about it.

Crnkovic said that at the time the warden was Besim Muderizovic, but that he had no necessary “papers”, so Sefer Halilovic, head of the headquarters of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, officially appointed him the warden.

Vlado Adamovic, lawyer of the second defendant Iulian-Nicolae Vintila, asked the witness why he had agreed to be a deputy warden when his assignment was to actually interrogate people who had been brought in.

“Sefer told me I was going to be the deputy, because it would be good if one was a Muslim and the other a Croat,” explained the witness, adding that it was on paper only.

Besim Muderizovic was charged, together with Ramiz Avdovic and Iulian-Nicolae Vintila, as a part of the joint criminal enterprise, with participating in the establishment and maintenance of the system of abuse of Serb civilians between June and late November, 1992.

Muderizovic, who was according to the indictment warden of the Sarajevo District Prison and former army barracks Viktor Bubanj, passed away in December last year.

According to the indictment, Avdovic was guard commander, and Vintila the cook and guard in the former barracks.

Crnkovic confirmed that the defendant Ramiz Avdovic was at the time the guard commander, but that he never beat anybody, nor that he heard from anyone that he did it.

He said that men of “Ismet ‘Cela’ Bajramovic, Juka and others” brought in Serbs to Viktor Bubanj and that defendant Avdovic was forced to admit them.

“They usually said that President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic has a cousin, so keep an eye on this one for the exchange,” said the witness, adding that they had to admit him although he “had no papers”.

Crnkovic said that he wrote a letter to the state and army top complaining about this negligence.
“I said I cannot change anything and that the conditions are very bad, but no one did anything about it,” said the witness.

He said that Vintila was the cook in Viktor Bubanj for a month and a half,  and then transferred to the guard watch. He said he never heard Vintila had beaten anyone.

Asked by the defendant Ramiz Avdovic whether the witness was his superior, Crnkovic said that he was, but on paper only.

Crnkovic said that they waited three months for the forming of the military court.

“We were ordered to guard people because they were needed for the exchange,” said the witness and added that the soldiers was not responsible, because they only carried out orders from the state and army top.

The trial will resume on March 22.

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