Jezik / Language:
26 April 2007

Todovic and Rasevic: First Witnesses Appear

The first Prosecution witnesses, former detainees of the Foca correctional facility, have testified against Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todorovic.

The first Prosecution witnesses at the trial against Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todorovic have claimed that detainees in Correctional Facility(KP Dom) Foca were taken to forced labour, but many never came back.

Todovic and Rasevic are charged with the beating, killing, taking to forced labour and disappearances of detainees at KP Dom Foca which, according to the indictment, had all the characteristics of a detention camp in the period from April 1992 until October 1995.

Protected witnesses 138, 115 and 15 said that the camp manager at the time of their detention was Milorad Krnojelac, who was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

According to their statements, his deputy was Todovic, while Rasevic was the commander of the guards.

"All three of them had a responsibility and they knew what was happening in the detention camp," said witness 138, adding that Rasevic used to visit the prisoners every morning.

As indicated by the witnesses, Serbs who did not want to go to the front line were also imprisoned in the KP Dom Foca, as well as persons who had been sentenced for various crimes before the war - although the camp detainees did not have any contact with them.

All three witnesses said that many prisoners were taken away from the detention camp, allegedly to be exchanged or for forced work, but they never came back to the camp.

"Some of them were found in mass graves in the coal mine near Foca, others in mass graves in Ustikolina or in the tunnel between Foca and Miljevina and the tunnel Buk Bijela," said witness 138.

Witness 115 remembered that "30 to 40 prisoners"were taken away from the camp to do some work in Ustikolina, and none of them came back.

"We were first told that they stayed to sleep outside the camp, and only later we found out they were no longer alive," said witness 115.

Witnesses said that some detainees died in the camp due to the bad living conditions. Among them was Enes Hodzic, whose death Todovic and Rasevic are indicted for.

"He had an attack of appendicitis, but nobody wanted to take him to the hospital. So he died," remembers witness 138.

According to the indictment, Todovic and Rasevic "contributed to bad condition sin the detention camp and to the inappropriate health care for the prisoner Enes Hodzic, who died due to a perforated ulcer".

The indictment also states that Rasevic and Todorovic took part in the"creation of the forced-labour system" that included forcing prisoners to work in the furniture factory within KP Dom and the rebuilding of the demolished house of Milorad Krnojelac. This was indicated in the statements of the first Prosecution witnesses.

Witness number 115 said that Mitar Rasevic was "correct" towards him during his detention.

"Rasevic brought me some cigarettes on several occasions, he told me how my family was doing, and I remember that he once gave milk to sick prisoners," claims witness 115.

The trial continues on 24 April 2007.
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