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31 October 2013
News

Prisoners in the Silos Camp Looked Normal

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

At the trial for crimes committed in Hadzici, a former guard in the Silos said that he never saw any prisoner in the detention camp being abused.

Samir Kesko, witness for the prosecution, said that in spring of 1993 he started working in the Silos. In the detention centre, he said, there were Serb and Croatian prisoners, as well as members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 
“There were around 200 prisoners. They looked normal, I did not look any better”, the witness said.
 
From warden Becir Hujic guards received, he said, a little book which had rules of conduct with prisoners. He emphasised that he never saw any of the prisoners being abused.
 
The prosecution charges Hujic, together with Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic, and Nermin Kalember with committing crimes against Serb and Croat prisoners in the Silos camp, the Krupa barracks and the May 9 school in Hadzici.
 
According to the indictment, Hujic was the warden, but also deputy warden of the Silos, and the same position were held by Halid Covic. Kalember was a guard at the Silos, and Sabic chief of police station in Pazaric, while others were members of the civilian, military and police authorities.
 
Kesko was in the Silos assigned with taking prisoners to eat, to the toilet, to the doctor. He said that prisoners were going to do labour voluntarily, as well as that they were visited regularly by the Red Cross.
 
Another witness who started testimony at this hearing was Muradif Nuhanovic, former policeman from Pazaric. He said that in late May or early June, 1992, he started working in the primary school May 9 in Pazaric, in which prisoners were held.
 
The trial chamber, however, interrupted his examination so that the witness would not incriminate himself because “he was talking about events which were contained in one count of the indictment”. The chamber decided that this witness be examined at the next hearing in the presence of legal council.
 
Nuhanovic explained he was not a person in charge in the school, and that he worked there as a guard for just a month or two.
 
“The apprehending of Serb people started in May 1992. One of the reasons they were brought in was illegal armament, and in my opinion they were also brought in for exchange. But that’s just my opinion,” said the witness, adding that he never apprehended anyone.
 
At the start of the testimony, he said that before coming to Pazaric he worked as a policeman in Hadzici. He left there in May 1992 when the “Serb side” attacked police station in Hadzici.
 
The trial will resume on Thursday, November 7, with the examination of new witnesses for the prosecution.
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