Jezik / Language:
6 February 2014

Deadline for Keeping People Was 72 Hours

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Witness Rifet Cardakovic says, testifying at the trial for crimes in the Hadzici area, that, while examining detainees in “Silos”, he found out that some of them had weapons.
Testifying for the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cardakovic said that he went to Tarcin, along with a group of policemen, in mid-1992 in order to take statements from Serb detainees.  
“Prior to that I heard that lists related to arming of people were found in possession of some of the detainees… We were interested if they had weapons, how they got them and when the arming had begun. We found out that it began in late 1991,” the witness said.
He said that not all persons, whom he examined in “Silos”, had weapons, so lists of those who did and those who did not have weapons were made.
“Some people denied that they had weapons, but police found weapons in the field later on,” he said, adding that force was not used during the examinations and that he did not notice any injuries on detainees.
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges crimes committed in “Silos” detention camp, “Krupa” military barracks and “9. maj” school building upon Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember.  
According to the charges, Hujic was Manager and Deputy Manager of “Silos” detention camp. Halid Covic allegedly performed those same functions. Mesanovic was one of Deputy Managers of “Silos” and Manager of a detention camp in “Krupa” military barracks, Kalember was a guard in “Silos”. The other indictees were members of civil, police and military authorities.
The witness said that he heard that, as per “a decision by the wartime Presidency”, all those persons were “held in isolation”, but he had not seen the decision. The Defence teams said that some persons were isolated due to “enemy activities”.
“According to the law, we could keep persons, in whose possession we found weapons, in custody for 72 hours or hand them over to an investigative judge. However, there was no court in that area at that time. We could not go to another court either, because everything was blocked. Later on judges from Zenica came,” he said.
When asked by the Trial Chamber how many detainees were held in “Silos”, the witness said that he thought that there were about 150, but he was not sure. He said that Becir Hujic was Manager of “Silos” at that time.
The second witness, who appeared in the State Court’s premises today, was not examined, because the Trial Chamber said that there would be no time for his examination.
The trial is due to continue on February 20.
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