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12 May 2008
News

Mejakic et al: Daily torture

BIRN BiH
Additional Prosecution witnesses say the third indictee participated in the beating of detainees in Omarska and Keraterm.

Two additional Prosecution witnesses, who testified under the pseudonyms of K055 and K056 at the trial of the three indictees, charged with crimes committed in the detention camps in Prijedor, spoke about the participation of Dusko Knezevic in the abuse of detainees in 1992.

"While we were detained in Keraterm we frequently saw Knezevic and Zigic taking out and beating detainees. Duca was always dressed in camouflage uniform and he beat me during the examination. When we arrived to the detention camp on May 23, 1992, I know that they lined us by the wall and beat us. Duca was there as well," witness K056 said.

Zoran "Ziga" Zigic was sentenced by the Hague Tribunal to 25 years imprisonment for his participation in the crimes committed in Omarska and Keraterm detention camps.

Dusko "Duca" Knezevic, Zeljko Mejakic and Momcilo "Ckalja" Gruban are charged with having participated in the murder, rape, beating and forcible detention of Bosniaks and Croats in Omarska and Keraterm detention camps in 1992.

Witness K056 said that the detainees, who were held in Keraterm detention camp, were beaten up every day. He also said that, on one occasion, they were forced to "crawl on the runway" and "beat each other."

"I remember that Duca, who had an automatic gun with a wooden butt, wanted to hit me but I raised my head, hoping that he would recognise me, as we had known each other from before. When he saw me he hit Sakib Alic, who was standing next to me, in the head," said K055, adding that this was the only time he saw Knezevic in Omarska detention camp.

Witness K055 claims to have been detained in Omarska from May to August 1992. He said that the detainees were tortured every day.

The indictment alleges that Knezevic occasionally visited Omarska and Keraterm detention camps, where he participated in the beating of detained Bosniaks and Croats in 1992.

The personal data of the two additional Prosecution witnesses were protected and their picture was altered. The public was occasionally excluded from the hearing and followed the trial from a separate room.

The trial is due to continue on Friday, May 16, 2008.

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