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23 September 2015
News

Witness Describes Being Beaten at Mostar War Crimes Trial

Emina Dizdarevic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
A state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of five former Bosniak fighters said she and her father were beaten while detained in a school near Mostar.
Enes Curic, Ibrahim Demirovic, Samir Kreso, Habib Copelj and Mehmed Kaminic have been charged with participating in the unlawful arrest and detention of Croat civilians in the municipality of Mostar from June to December 1993.

Curic was a member of the 49th Mountain Brigade of the Bosnian Army and the manager of a detention facility in a school and other buildings in Potoci. Demirovic was the commander of the 47th Mountain Brigade of the Bosnian Army. Kreso was the head of medical services with the military unit of the Mountain Brigade (active in the Bijelo Polje area), while Copelj and Kaminic were members of the Bosnian Army.

Demirovic, who was also a member of the 449th Eastern Herzegovina Mountain Brigade of the Bosnian Army, has also been charged with the rape of a woman in Potoci in 1993.

A protected state prosecution witness known as A testified at today’s hearing. A said she was arrested with her family on June 30, 1993 and taken to a school in Potoci near Mostar. She was fourteen at the time.

“I didn’t know any of the soldiers in the school. Curic was in charge, that’s what they said. I can’t remember his name. I saw him in the school, and didn’t know him from before,” she said.

A said soldiers questioned her and her father, because they found a rifle and money on her when she was arrested.

“First they questioned my father and after fifteen minutes they came for me. If I didn’t know the answer to a question they hit my father in the other room. I heard his cries and wept. A soldier hit me on the back with a rope...A scarred man named Zukic was there,” A said.

A said Curic helped her family by letting them out of the school’s basement.

The trial continues on September 30.

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