Jezik / Language:
20 September 2013

Indictee Helped the Witness

Boris Sekulić BIRN BiH Bijeljina

Witness Muhamed Husejdic says, testifying at the trial for crimes in Ugljevik, that indictee Ostoja Minic helped him flee from a school building, where he was detained, and return to his home in Teocak.

The witness said that, in June 1992 he was arrested in Teocak and taken to the school building in Ugljevik, where he met Minic, whom he had known from before the war, as they used to work with police together.

“When they brought us in front of the school building, they left us sitting on the staircase. Sometime later Ostoja, who was accompanied by a captain, who arrested us, appeared. He then took my written statement about what I was doing in Ugljevik. Following the examination, I asked him if I could go home, but he said that, as per a captain's order, he could not let me go. I then asked him if I could go to a shop outside the school yard in order to buy cigarettes. Ostoja allowed me to go,” Husejdic said.

According to the witness' statement, he left the school building together with one more person and went back to Teocak. Considering the fact that he was a non-smoker, the witness said that Minic helped him flee, because he did not have the authority to order his release.

Ostoja Minic, Velimir Popovic and Oliver Rodic are charged with having taken Croat and Bosniak detainees from the “Stari Ugljevik” transitional camp and school building in Ugljevik for examinations in 1992. The detainees were allegedly beaten and tortured during those examinations.

Second witness Radovan Jokic said that indictee Minic worked as an officer with the Section for Fighting Crime and that one of his tasks in the school building in Ugljevik was to examine detainees.

According to the witness, after having been arrested, people were brought to the school boiler house before being taken for an examination, as per an order.

“A person known as Sumar was Chief of the detention facility. As per orders from his superiors, he used to take detainees to Minic's office, where statements were taken from them. Ostoja was just an ordinary officer, who could not order examination of detainees. He did not have command authority. He just did what they ordered him to do,” Jokic said.

The witness explained that Minic stayed at that place for less than a month and that he did not visit the detention facility in that period of time. Also, he confirmed that some detainees were mistreated by members of Red Berets, an independent paramilitary formation. He said that even common soldiers were afraid of them.

The trial is due to continue on October 23. 

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