Jezik / Language:
25 January 2007

Mandic: Last prosecution witnesses

The prosecution has questioned its last witnesses in the Momcilo Mandic trial.
The last three prosecution witnesses in the case against Momcilo Mandic have described the poor living conditions in the Foca correctional facility.

The indictee again did not appear at the hearing, thus expressing his solidarity with war crimes indictees who are on hunger strike in protest at the court's use of the cCriminal Code of BiH and not the old Yugoslav one.

Mandic is charged that, as Srpska Republika BiH justice minister during 1992 and 1993, he had responsibility over the operation of all correctional facilities and detention camps formed on the territory controlled by Serb forces.

Witness Murat Krso was taken to Foca Correctional Facility in May 1992. "They came to our village on May 30 and took away all my neighbours," he said.

As he said, nobody tortured him during his stay at the facility, but he knew that at night the guards took away other detainees and beat them.

Krso stayed in the Foca Correctional Facility until July 11, 1993. According to him, during that time he bathed in a bathroom only once. During his detention he lost around 40 kilogrammes.

Protected witness C was arrested on April 10, 1992 and transferred to Foca Correctional Facility on April 17 of the same year. According to this witness, detainees were brought to this facility and "thrown" into the rooms.

Witness C said that he does not know who ordered the detention and taking away of witnesses, but that he does know that Milorad Krnojelac (sentenced at the Hague tribunal to 15 years imprisonment) was camp warden and that Savo Todovic, who is currently detained in Sarajevo awaiting trial, was his deputy.

According to this witness, guards in Foca forced camp inmates to eat pork in certain situations, which they did "in order not to starve to death". Witness C was detained until October 6, 1994.

Protected witness D was brought to the Foca facility on April 18, 1992.

According to him, camp inmates were taken for questioning daily, but nobody ever told them why they were detained. He also said that between 40 and 50 other camp inmates were detained in the same room as him, including an eight-year-old girl.

Witness D was detained until August 1994. During that period he lost more than 30 kilos.

"The conditions were terrible. The guards and Serb soldiers had much better food than we did. I know that because I cleaned after them and ate their leftovers," witness D said.

The trial will be continued on January 26, 2007, when the prosecution will submit physical evidence.
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