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4 November 2015

Statement By Deceased Witness Read at Bosanska Krupa War Crimes Trial

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Statements given by a deceased witness named Branko Udovcic were read at the trial of Samir Sabic, Jadranko Saran and Zijad kadic, who’ve been charged with war crimes in the Bosanska Krupa area. In the statement, Udovcic said police officers beat detainees in Jasenica often.

Samir Sabic, Jadranko Saran, and Zijad Kadic have been charged with war crimes in Bosanska Krupa. The indictment alleges that Saran ordered the detention of civilians in the Jasenica concentration camp, and that guards who were under Sabic’s control guarded the civilians. According to the charges, the civilians were held in inhumane conditions and were taken to other locations to perform forced labour. It is further alleged that two children were among the detainees.

The indictment alleges that Saran was the chief of the public safety station in Bosanska Krupa. Sabic was the commander of the police section in Jasenica. Kadic was a police officer.

At today’s hearing, prosecutor Ozrenka Neskovic read statements given by deceased witness Branko Udovcic at a police station in the municipality of Ostra Luka and the State Investigation and Protection Agency in 2005. In those statements, Udovcic said he was captured by the 505th Buzimska Brigade of the Bosnian Army and handed over to police in Jasenica in the municipality of Krupa.

In his statements, he said that he and other captives were detained in a house in Jasenica, where police officers beat them frequently.

“We all stayed in one room. I remember there were 72 of us from various places, including Banja Luka, Sanski Most, Gradiska,” Udovcic’s statement read.

His statements further indicate that police officers forced detainees to pillage other Serb villages and ordered them to dig corpses out of a grave.

“I know there were 17 black bags,” Udovcic said in his statements.

As indicated in Udovcic’s statements, after having spent two weeks in detention in Jasenica, he was transferred with others to Bosanska Krupa.

“While we were in the prison, we were beaten up. They poured ice-cold water over us,” Udovcic said in his statements.

He said he was transferred to Bihac eight days later. He said he was released from detention in late 1995.

The defense noted differences between Udovcic’s statements. Fahrija Karkin, Saran’s defense attorney, said that in his first statement Udovcic didn’t mention which police station the captives were sent to, whereas in his second statement he said they were handed over to civil police.

“Our question would have been which of these statements is true,” Karkin said.

The trial will continue on November 18.

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