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6 September 2007
News

Radic et al: Days of Horror in Vojno

BIRN BiH
Prosecution witness recalls an attempted rape that she suffered while detained in Vojno detention camp.
On the second day of her testimony, protected Prosecution witness F has spoken about the personal suffering caused by attempted rapes she suffered in Vojno detention camp, and of the rape of other female detainees and beating of men.

"When I entered the room there were many soldiers in there. One of them, a bald man with an earring in his left ear, ordered me to follow him. He took me to another room and told me to take my clothes off. As I refused to do it, he tore my shirt of and slapped me. I then fainted. When I woke up I saw another soldier next to me and I heard him saying 'leave her to me Emir, give her to me Brekalo'," witness F has said, adding that she was never raped in Vojno detention camp.

The indictment alleges that Damir Brekalo, whose name used to be Emir, was a guard in Vojno detention camp.

Marko Radic, known as Maka, Dragan Sunjic, Damir Brekalo and Mirka Vracevic, also known as Srbin, are charged with having participated, as members of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in 1993 and 1994, in murder, rape, torture and forced labour of detainees in Vojno camp.

Witness F has recalled the attempted rape in which indictee Sunjic took part.

"A few days after my arrival in the detention camp they took me to see Marijo Mihalj who told me to enter a room and 'offer some love' to some man. When I entered the room, I saw a naked man lying on a bed. I passed out. Later on, when I woke up, I saw Sunjic who was half-naked.
I do not know if he was the man lying on the bed," witness F claims.

The indictment mentions Mario Mihalj, Ivek Kolobara, Jure Kordic, Nedzad Coric, Amel Hadziosmanovic and Nedzad Tinjak as perpetrators of individual crimes in Vojno detention camp.

The witness claims that 15 children and 21 women were detained in the room in which she spent 109 days. The women were allegedly taken away from the room to be raped on a daily basis.

"The youngest child was eight months old, and the oldest woman was about 85 years old. I know that women were frequently taken away to be raped. Most of the times they took witness A, who told me that she was raped by Radic, and also witnesses B and AG," witness F claims.

The indictment alleges that Radic was commander of "Ivan Stanic Cico" Commandos Squad, and then also Commander of Bijelo Polje Battalion with the Second HVO Brigade. He was allegedly responsible for the territory of Bijelo Polje, including Vojno detention camp.

The indictment further alleges that Sunjic was Radic's deputy. The prosecution has charged them both with individual and command responsibility.

"Maka Radic was Mihalj and Sunjic's superior. Not even a bird could fly over Vojno without his permission. On one occasion he told me that he was commander of the Bijelo Polje valley controlled by HVO forces. I know that Mirko Vracevic, also known as Srbin or Coro, used to come there all the time as he lived close to the camp," witness F has said.

The indictment alleges that Vracevic was a member of Bijelo Polje Battalion and a guard in Vojno detention camp and that he took part in the maltreatment of detained Bosniaks.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Dragan Barbaric has alleged that, in the witness' statements given to the investigative judge in Mostar, the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs in Mostar and to the Prosecution, she has "frequently changed her statements".

The trial is due to continue on 10 September, when the cross-examination of witness F shall continue.
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