Jezik / Language:
19 November 2007

Mejakic et al: Blood Pools in Keraterm

A Prosecution witness has described how he survived the shooting in room 3 in Keraterm detention camp a the end of July 1992.
Prosecution witness Enes Crljenkovic told the Court about the mass execution of detainees in Keraterm detention camp in July 1992 and said that Dusan Fustar, one of the four indictees charged before the Court of BiH for crimes committed in Omarska and Keraterm detention camps, took part in this crime.

"At 7 pm, shooting started in the room number 3, where we were detained. I remember I was lying on the floor in a pool of  blood," said witness Enes Crljenkovic.

"The morning after, I saw about 190 bodies, cut in pieces. There were about 60 wounded people. That morning Dusan Fustar came in and asked for volunteers who would load the bodies onto a truck," said the witness, who said he had been brought to Keraterm detention camp on July 20, 1992.

The Prosecution of BiH charges Dusan Fustar, Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban and Dusko Knezevic with having participated in the murder, torture, rape and beating of Bosniaks and Croats in Omarska and Keraterm detention camps in 1992.

"I did not know Fustar from before, but other detainees in Keraterm told me what his name was. As far as I can remember, he was of middle height, big, massive and had mustaches. He used to wear military uniform and a cockade. I think he was 52 years old at the time," Crljenkovic pointed out.

The indictment alleges that, from May 24 to August 30, 1992, Fustar was commander of one of the three guard shifts in Keraterm detention camp, in which about 1,500 Bosniaks and Croats were detained.

Crljenkovic said that, one day after the massacre, Fustar took 22 detainees out of room number 3 and they never came back.

"He entered the room and told Ismet Bajic to choose 20 people who would go out. Fustar then locked the door and we heard shooting. We never saw those people again," Crljenkovic said, adding that he was not sure if Fustar was "a guard or detention camp commander", but he claims to have seen him in Keraterm detention camp when the detainees were beaten up.

"Every day ... brothers Predrag and Nenad Banovic and Dusko Sikirica would beat people with sticks, gun butts and revolvers, and Fustar was there. As far as I can remember he did not beat anyone, but he did not prevent others from doing that," said Crljenkovic.

In November 2001 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Sikirica to 15 years imprisonment for crimes committed in Keraterm detention camp. In October 2003 the ICTY sentenced Predrag Banovic to eight years imprisonment for crimes committed in Omarska and Keraterm detention camps. The indictment against Nenad Banovic was withdrawn due to lack of evidence.

During cross-examination, Crljenkovic said that he saw Fustar in Trnopolje detention camp, to which he was transferred, together with a group of detainees, on August 8, 1992.

"I think that, after the dismissal of Keraterm detention camp, he was a guard in that detention camp for some time. As far as I can remember he was a major," Crljenkovic said.

As proposed by the Prosecution of BiH, the Trial Chamber admitted as material evidence reports on exhumations undertaken on the territory of Prijedor, together with the book entitled "The Missing People from Prijedor" and "The Additional Report on Exhumations and Ways of Death, Prijedor Municipality" written by ICTY investigator Nicholas Sebire.

The trial is due to continue on November 20, 2007.
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