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30 December 2014
News

Planned Removal of Serbs from Herzegovina

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Presenting its closing statement, the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, points out that indictees Ivan Zelenika, Srecko Herceg, Edib Buljubasic, Ivan Medic and Marina Grubisic-Fejzic were members of a joint criminal enterprise on the territory of Herzegovina.

Prosecutor Seid Marusic said that the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, implemented a plan for the removal of Serb civilians from Herzegovina in 1992 by arresting and detaining those people.

The Prosecutor said that, after having been arrested, Serb civilians were detained in a military dispensary in Mostar and then in Dretelj, near Capljina.

"All five indictees, who are here in the courtroom today, were members of the HOS," Marusic said.

In his closing statement the Prosecutor retold statements by State Prosecution witnesses. He said that a married couple from Mostar was detained in the military dispensary and that the wife was then raped and the husband beaten up. The Prosecutor said that he recognised Ivan Zelenika and asked him to help him.

"You are a good man, but I cannot help you, because you are a Serb," the Prosecutor said, retelling a part of his testimony.

According to the Prosecutor, several women were raped in the military dispensary, while men were beaten up and abused in other ways as well. The Prosecutor read a statement given by a witness, who said that he was beaten up byIvan Zelenika in the military dispensary.

According to the Prosecutor, while testifying at the trial, witnesses said that Ivan Zelenika was the Manager of the military dispensary.

The Prosecutor also read a witness' statement, indicating that Srecko Herceg introduced himself to detainees in Dretelj and said that he would be the Manager.

Marusic said that Serb men and women were detained in Dretelj. He mentioned that the men were beaten up, sexually abused and abused in other ways, while women were raped.

The Prosecutor read testimonies, indicating that Ivan Medic beat some detainees and that he raped one woman.

"She claims that he said what his name was," the Prosecutor said, retelling a part of her testimony.

Marusic said that several detainees did not survive their detention in Dretelj and that Edib Buljubasic participated in the murder of detainees.

Also, Marusic called on testimonies referring to a guard called Marina. One of the testimonies, which the Prosecutor read, indicated that Marina and another female guard forced two detainees to have oral sex.

The presentation of closing statements is due to continue on January 27. 
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