Jezik / Language:
2 August 2007

Rasevic and Todovic: Disappearance of Prisoners from Foca

Court hears of the disappearance of prisoners from detention camp in Foca at a time when one of the indictees was deputy manager.
Describing the wartime conditions in Foca Correctional Facility, a protected witness at the trial of Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic has said that the former prison was turned into a detention camp.

"Foca detention camp has ruined my life," witness FWS 58 told the Court. "I was detained without being guilty of anything. I was starving while I was there. I am disabled today. I will take it with me to the rest of my life."

The witness has testified under additional protection measures, behind a curtain so the people in the courtroom have not been able to see him/her.

Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic are charged with having participated in torture, beating, murder and inhumane treatment of detainees in Foca Correctional Facility. The Prosecution considers that Rasevic was commander of guards, while Todovic was deputy manager.

Witness FWS 58 was brought to the detention camp in mid July 1992 and released on 31 August the same year.

"There were about 50 people in our group. A guard came in, called out about 20 names and said they were going to be exchanged in Gorazde. Afterwards, they also came to pick the rest of us. We were exchanged, but I do not know what happened to the first group," says FWS 58.

The indictment alleges that, at the end of August 1992, guards called out 20 prisoners and took them "in an unknown direction". It is still not known what happened to them.

Another protected witness, codenamed FWS 85, has said that Todovic was "strict and cruel" in the Foca camp.

"When one prisoner tried to escape, Todovic said we would all be punished. They gave us half the amount of food we had received before, so the cooks laughed at us when we went to collect our meals," says FWS 85, who spent two and a half years - from 19 April 1992 to 6 October 1994 - in the camp.

The witness has also said that, out of the "estimated" 700 persons who were detained in the camp, it is still "not known" what happened to more than 400.

The trial continues on 27 August, when the prosecution will examine one more protected witness.
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