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28 November 2013
News

Court Interrupts Examination of Witness

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Testifying at the trial for crimes in the Hadzici area, a State Prosecution witness says that he heard that detainees, who were held in “Silos”, were mistreated by members of units, who appeared there occasionally.

Muhamed Merdjanovic said that, upon his arrival in Pazaric in September 1992, he began working with the military security service. He said that he heard that, prior to his arrival, the mistreatment of Serb detainees had happened in “Silos”. 

“I heard that units, which were passing, mistreated them. It was not done by the 9th Mountain Brigade, but by some units, which appeared from time to time,” he said, explaining that he could not confirm that it really happened, because he only heard about it.

The witness said that the persons, who, as he found out, were detained for weapon possession, had not been mistreated since his arrival to the Security Service and that he used to see them in “Silos”. 

When asked how those persons looked like, he said that “one cannot say that they looked good”.  
He said that Becir Hujic and Serif Mesanovic, who were “excellent professionals”, were managers of “Silos”.

“As I said during the investigation, if mistreatment of detainees had happened, the Managers would have certainly solved and prevented that,” he said.
 
Hujic and Mesanovic are on trial, along with Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Halid Covic and Nermin Kalember, for crimes committed in “Silos”, “Krupa” military barracks and “9. maj” school building.

According to the charges, Hujic was Manager and Deputy Manager of “Silos” detention camp. Halid Covic performed the same functions. Mesanovic was one of the Deputy Managers of “Silos” and Manager of the detention camp in “Krupa” military barracks, Kalember was a guard in “Silos”, while Kazic was Commander of the 9th Mountain Brigade of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other indictees were members of civil, military and police authorities.

Merdjanovic said that he did not know under whose responsibility “Silos” was. He said that it was known to him that detainees were taken to other locations in order to perform labour.

“Requests for work came from units attached to the Headquarters, but I cannot possibly know who approved those requests,” the witness said.

According to his testimony, detainees performed works even outside the zone of responsibility of the 9th Mountain Brigade. He confirmed that he too “used to receive requests related to the need for sending detainees to perform works”.

Merdjanovic said that he did not have the authority to approve such requests. After the Defence of indictee Kazic had presented some documents, the witness did not respond to questions any more.

The Trial Chamber interrupted his examination and announced that the examination would continue once the witness had a legal representative.

The trial is due to continue on December 12.

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