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25 April 2016
News

Croat Prisoners ‘Beaten and Abused’ in Kruscica Jail

BIRN BiH Sarajevo

At the trial of five Bosniak ex-fighters for abusing Croat detainees, a witness testified that the defendants were responsible for beatings and sexual abuse at the Crna Kuca prison in Kruscica.

Prosecution witness Ivica Krizanovic told the state court in Sarajevo on Monday that he was arrested by Bosnian Army commandos together with his brother and cousins while they were cutting grass on July 1, 1993 and taken to the Crna Kuca (Black House) prison in Kruscica.

The witness said that defendant Saban Haskic beat up his brother Stipe in the prison yard at Crna Kuca because he mixed him up with his cousin. Haskic apologised for having assaulted him a few days later.

He said that another prisoner also accused Haskic of beating him up.

“Haskic liked to wear wooden-soled shoes. While we were in the basement, we could hear him walking upstairs. We once heard noise and cries. Later on something came crashing down the stairs. It was Goran Strukar,” the witness said.

“We washed him, because he was covered with blood. He told us that Haskic had knocked his teeth out,” he added.

The indictment alleges that Saban Haskic, Minet Akeljic, Senad Bilal, Hazim Patkovic and Semsudin Djelilovic participated in the mental and physical abuse of Croat detainees at the Crna Kuca prison in Kruscica from July to November 1993.

According to the charges, Akeljic was the commander of the military police with the First Battalion of the 325th Mountain Brigade of the Bosnian Army, while Haskic, Bilal, Patkovic and Djelilovic were members of the same unit.

Witness Krizanovic said detainees had to fight with each other in order to “entertain a girl who visited the prison with Minet Akeljic”.

He also said that detainees were also forced to have oral sex with each other.

Krizanovic further accused Bilal of assaulting him during an interrogation.

“When I said something they disagreed with, he would yell at me, saying I was lying, and hit me in the lower legs with a rubber baton… Bilal often appears in my dreams. I have nightmares,” he said.

Also on Monday, the trial of former Bosnian Serb Army soldier Krsto Dostic, who is accused of raping a woman in Foca on several occasions, continued at the state court.

A protected prosecution witness testified at the hearing that she heard about the rape of a pregnant woman in the village of Aladza in 1992.

The witness, codenamed S-3, said all the men from Aladza were taken to the Penal and Correctional Facility in Foca in April 1992, and only women and children remained in the village.

The witness said her sister-in-law told her that the victim was raped several times by Krsto, who she had known before the war when he was a postman.


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