Jezik / Language:
4 July 2007

Mejakic et al: Rape in Prijedor

Another Prosecution witness claims to have been raped several times during her detention in the camps in Prijedor
A protected prosecution witness, who pseudonym is K019, claims to have been raped several times during her detention in Keraterm and Omarska detention camps.

"During my stay in Omarska, I was raped seven times during the night and two times during the day. A person named Pavelic often raped me.

Other women in the camp told me what his name was. He would take me away and rape me. After being raped by him, I was sometimes also raped by other guards who I did not know," K019 has said.

The rapes are also charged upon indictees Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic. The prosecution charged them with having participated in torture, beating up and murder of forcibly detained Bosniaks and Croats during 1992.

The protected witness says that, before coming to Omarska detention camp, she had been detained in Keraterm, where she was raped for the first time.

"After my arrival at Keraterm, a guard took me to some room and ordered me to stand on a table. He started beating me and then ordered me to take my clothes off. Then he raped me. Later on, other men came and raped me. I woke up the next morning in a pool of blood. Later on, other women told me that the first guard's name was Nedeljko Timarac," witness K019 has recalled.

Rapes also continued in Omarska detention camp, where women used to be taken out of the dormitories every night.

"None of us ever spoke about what was happening to us. The guard who always took me out was of medium height, massive, had mustaches and red cheeks. Other women told me it was Pavelic, known as Postar (postman), Lugar (ranger) or Sumar (forester), " the witness has said.

Answering questions posed by Mejakic's defence attorney Jovan Simic, during cross-examination, the witness has confirmed that the person who raped her also saved her life in the camp.

"After the first rape in Keraterm I was bleeding all the time. I once fainted in the restaurant. Other women told me that Pavelic called one detainee, who was a doctor, to help me. The doctor said I should drink a lot of liquids and take medicines, and Pavelic brought them," K019 has said.

During her testimony, the witness has recognised Mejakic and said that she used to see him in Omarska where he, allegedly, was the camp manager.

"I have nothing against Zeljko. Women used to tell me he was the chief of security. I know I never saw him beating anyone," the witness said during the cross-examination.

Although the defence attorneys have suggested, citing human rights provisions, that the indictees continue defending themselves while on bail, the trial chamber has not approved it explaining that "there are no new facts or circumstances" that would make them reach such a decision.

The public has monitored this hearing from a separate room due to additional protective measures for the protected witness. The decision for exclusion of the public and the reasons for the prosecution's request have been announced at a closed session.

The trial continues on 10 July.
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