Jezik / Language:
19 June 2014

Mistreatment of Detainees in “Silos”

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Testifying at the trial for crimes in the Hadzici area, witness Predrag Kapetina says that he was examined, beaten and used for forced labour during his three-and-a-half years of detention.

State Prosecution witness Kapetina said that he was captured, on June 9, 1992, and taken to the “9. maj” school building, where he was examined and beaten. 

“Mensur Covic and Milan Bozic examined me about weapons. They treated me in a bad manner. They hit me a couple of times. They said that some weapons were mine,” he said, adding that he was not sure who was responsible for the school building, but he knew that he saw Police Commander Mirsad Sabic in that building.
The witness said that, after having spent six days in the school building, he was transferred, along with a few other persons, to “Silos”, where he saw Manager Becir Hujic upon his arrival.
Sabic and Hujic are charged with crimes committed in “Silos”, “Krupa” military barracks and “9. maj” school building. They are on trial together with Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Nezir Kazic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember.
According to the charges, Sabic was Commander of the Police Station in Pazaric, Hujic was Manager and Deputy Manager of “Silos”, just like Halid Covic. Mesanovic was one of the Deputy Managers in “Silos” and Manager of a detention camp in “Krupa” barracks, while Kalember was a guard in “Silos”. The other indictees were members of civilian, military and police authorities.
Kapetina said that Hujic was not Manager of “Silos” the whole time during his detention, adding that other persons were there as well. He said that “Silos” guards used to mistreat and beat detainees and that they did that as per the Manager’s orders.
“At the beginning whoever wanted to enter ‘Silos’ could do it, because no padlock was used. So, some soldiers would come, some women too… They would come and beat people up. After that the Manager would ask who had done that, as if he had not known that,” the witness said.
In late December 1992 the witness and a group of other detainees were transferred from “Silos” to “Krupa”, whose Manager was a man known as Sera. He said that the living conditions in that facility were better.
He told the Court that, during his detention he used to perform various physical labour and that he was taken to other locations, sometimes even to frontlines, in order to perform labour. Kapetina, who testified from Australia via video link, said that he was released from detention on January 19, 1996.
Responding to questions made by the Defence of the first indictee, the witness said that the persons, who examined him in 1992, wrote down that he possessed weapons at their own initiative. When the Defence presented him with a criminal report and indictment, charging him with weapon possession, he said that he had never heard about it before.
The trial is due to continue on June 26.

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