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29 February 2012
News

Dronjak: Death on Frontline or in Detention Camp

BIRN BiH Sarajevo
A Defence witness says, at the trial of Ratko Dronjak, that, in his capacity as manager of the prison in Kamenica, the indictee did not have the authority to bring or take prisoners away and participate in exchange of prisoners.

Milan Ivancevic said that he was member of the Commission for Exchange of Prisoners of War in 1992 and 1993, adding that, with permission from the Main Headquarters of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, he took prisoners from the prison in Kamenica and took them for exchange. He said that this also included collecting dead bodies from frontlines.

Responding to a question made by the Defence, Ivancevic said that prisoners were not beaten in Kamenica, adding that Rifet Kendic, who died on the frontline, was first transported to Kamenica and then exchanged.

State Prosecutor Dzemila Begovic asked witness Ivancevic, who testified for the State Prosecution in May last year, why he said, at that time, that he was not sure whether Kendic was killed on the frontline or died in the Kamenica prison although today he said that he was killed on the frontline.

“I spoke to a colleague of mine, who told me that she collected Kendic's dead body from the frontline, but I cannot be completely sure about that,” the witness explained.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Dronjak, former manager of detention facilities in Drvar municipality, with having participated in the establishment and maintenance of a punishment and abuse system in the “Slavko Rodic” school building and Kamenica detention camp from May 1992 to the end of 1995.

Second witness Milorad Zoric, who testified in defence of Dronjak at this hearing, said that he worked as cameraman with the Second Krajina Corps of the VRS and that he recorded the exchanges of prisoners of war, which, as he said, were conducted in a correct manner. Also, he said that the prisoners looked “normal”.

Zoric said that he once met the indictee in the prison in Kamenica. “I asked him if I could take a letter to my brother, who was inside. He said I could,” Zoric said.

The next hearing is due to be held on March 8, 2012.

M.B.

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