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17 January 2013
News

Silos: Weapons Only For Defence, Claims Witness

BIRN BiH
In the resumption of cross-examination at the trial for crimes committed in the municipality of  Hadzici, witness Milorad Pandurevic said that both Serbs and Bosniaks were arming themselves before the war started.
Pandurevic said that two mortars were brought to the area of  Rastelica (municipality of Hadzici), but were immediately transferred to Bradina.

“We did not need mortars, we did not have plans for action. We only wanted to defend our homes,” said Pandurevic.

Asked whether bringing mortars to the village was a preparation for war, the witness said that it was preparation for defence.

“We were not threatened by local Muslims, but by the Croatian Defence Forces (HOS),” he said.

Pandurevic testified on December 5 and 13, 2012, but the sessions were adjourned because of his high blood pressure. At the beginning of the trial he described how he was brought to the Silos camp on May 28, 1992.

With crimes committed in the Silos camp, the Krupa barracks and the 9th May primary school are charged Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember.

According to the indictment, Becir Hujic was at one time warden of the Silos camp and at another time deputy, while Halid Covic took up the same positions. Kalember was a guard in Silos, while others were members of the civilian, military or police authorities.

The witness said that Silos prisoners often addressed Becir Hujic, whom he knew from before the war.

“We addressed Becir and complained of the conditions we live in. He said he was writing to the crisis headquarters asking for normal conditions for us. He was a man who knew how things were done. He told us they would not let him help us,” said the witness.

He said that he learnt from a prisoner that a guard named Kalember beat him, but he also learnt from his own wife that this guard was occassionally helping her while she was in Silos.

According to Pandurevic, the prisoners were taken to hard labour right at the front lines.

“Four camp prisoners were killed at Stupnik on May 26, 1993. Some of them were wounded in the clash,” said the witness, emphasising that he spent 1,340 days in captivity.

The next hearing is scheduled for January 16.
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