Jezik / Language:
27 November 2007

Rasevic and Todovic: Memories of Black Nights

A protected Prosecution witness speaks about his four-month detention in Foca Correctional Facility and claims that some prisoners disappeared during that time.
Protected prosecution witness FWS 02 claims to have been taken to Foca Correctional Facility by "the army" in April 1992 and to have been held in detention for four months. He said that nobody maltreated him in that period, but he remembers seeing other prisoners being maltreated.

"Prisoners would be taken out for examinations and they never came back. This happened at night. They were taken away by the guards. After that, we would hear shooting and that was it. Execution. We called them 'the black nights'," the witness recalled.

Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic are charged, on the basis of individual and command responsibility, with having committed crimes against prisoners detained in Foca Correctional Facility, which, according to the indictment, had all characteristics of a detention camp. The prosecution considers that Rasevic was guard commander, while Todovic was deputy manager.

On August 31, 1992, protected witness FWS 02 was taken, "together with more than 50" other prisoners, "for exchange in the direction of Montenegro".

"They first took us all out and then returned us to one room. A policeman holding a list in his hand came and called out half of the people in the room, mainly the young ones. The rest of us were taken to Montenegro by bus. I do not know what happened with the first group of people. Only those who took them away know that," FWS 02 said.

The indictment alleges that, at the end of August 1992, Todovic "personally saw off 55 prisoners" to a destination in Montenegro, but the army returned them to the facility. The indictment further alleges that, the following day, a group of 35 elderly and sick prisoners was taken to Montenegro, while the remaining 20 "were taken in an unknown direction". Those who were taken to Montenegro were released.

The Prosecution of BiH announced that it would examine an additional witness, "who is not able to appear before the court at present". This witness' statement will refer to Todovic.

Although the Prosecution proposed to examine two more witnesses, the Trial Chamber sustained the defence's objection and therefore refused the proposal, explaining that the testimonies of those witnesses "are not interesting and relevant at this stage".

As per a decision made by the Trial Chamber, Mitar Rasevic's defence team is expected to start presenting evidence at the next hearing, scheduled on December 4.

Rasevic's Defence attorney Slavisa Prodanovic announced that he was planning to present evidence for three days and that he intended to begin the evidence presentation by examining the indictee.
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