Jezik / Language:
28 June 2007

Rasevic and Todovic: 900 Days in Foca

Former Foca detainees describe the suffering and maltreatment of Bosniaks held in the camp.
Three protected witnesses have spoken about crimes in the Correctional Facility Foca (KP Foca) before the Court of BiH. Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic are currently on trial in connection with these crimes.

Protected witness B claims to have been taken, on 19 April 1992, to KP Foca by military policemen who said he had to give a statement about his "loyalty to the regime".

"They said it would take only 20 minutes, but I stayed for 900 days,"said B and added that there "could be around 600" detained Bosniaks in KP Foca in those first days.

According to witness B, Todovic was considered to be "strah and trepet" among detainees.

Prosecution charges Rasevic and Todovic with command and personal responsibility for crimes committed in KP Foca, which had all characteristics of a detention camp. According to the indictment, Rasevic was a commander of guards while Todovic was deputy manager.

Witness C has told the trial chamber how guards used to take detainees out, and how some of them never came back.

"Whoever was taken to the gate never came back again," said C.

"Todovic was deputy manager, but he was the chief. Whatever happened there, had been on Savo's 'to do' list," said the witness and added that Todovic had ordered him to go to work.

The witnesses recall that 35 prisoners were taken away for "plum picking" in September 1992.

"One of the guards called their names out and then they left, divided in two groups. My son-in-law was among them. He has still not been found," said witness D.

The indictment alleges that, on 17 September, between 35 and 60 prisoners were taken out of the correctional facility "allegedly to pick plums". They have been missing since then.

During cross-examination of all three witnesses, Todovic commented on their statements calling them "talks over a glass of brandy", "nonsense" and "repetitions from the past", to which Prosecutor Vesna Ilic objected.

"This is not cross-examination, this is persuasion of witnesses," said Ilic.

Todovic asked all three witnesses to tell him why they did not testify in The Hague "if they know everything". Witness D has reacted to this and asked the indictee "not to provoke him with his questions".

Following this remark, trial chamber chairman Hilmo Vucinic reacted and asked Todovic to "reformulate some of the questions".

The trial continues on 20 July 2007.
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