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11 March 2015
News

Witness Describes Assault at the Batkovic Detention Camp at Begovic Trial

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Testifying at the Gligor Begovic trial, state prosecution witness Mirsad Buljugic said he was repeatedly beaten by Begovic during his detainment at the Batkovic detention camp.

Begovic has been charged with assaulting detainees at the Batkovic detention camp and with the rape of two persons in 1992.

Mirsad Buljugic said he and an initial group of 100-150 persons were detained at the Batkovic camp in the summer of 1992. According to Buljugic, on his first or second day at Batkovic a guard who identified himself as Gligor from Gorazde arrived at the camp.

“He was tall and combed his hair to the side,” Buljugic said. Buljugic identified Begovic in the courtroom.

Buljugic said he found Begovic’s full name via the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA).

Buljugic said he had many negative encounters with Begovic during his detainment, and described instances of abuse inflicted on him by Begovic.

“He [Begovic] was beating me with everything with he could beat me with, his foot, the butt of his gun...He said, ‘All of mine were slaughtered in Gorazde, now I’ll do the same to you,” Buljugic said.

Buljugic said Begovic often beat the other detainees. He said Begovic ordered two detainees nicknamed Spajzer and Pike to beat other detainees. Spajzer and Pike allegedly were given a privileged status within the camp.

According to Buljugic, Spajzer once struck him on the back with an axe, on Begovic’s orders. Buljugic underwent an operation and had a major muscle removed from his body after he left the camp.

“Begovic beat Mesar, Zlatar, and Brico when they could walk, but also when they couldn’t, when they were immobile,” Buljugic said.

Buljugic said he saw Begovic beat a child who requested food. Buljugic allegedly forced the boy to run while he followed him on a bicycle and beat him.

The prosecution asked Buljugic why he had reported to SIPA in 2008 that the same incident also happened to him. Buljugic said he experienced a similar incident.

Buljugic said he spent approximately seven months at the Batkovic camp. He said because of the poor sanitation at the camp he acquired scabies. He said when he left the camp, he only weighed 45 kilograms.

The trial will continue on March 25.
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