Jezik / Language:
5 January 2007

Todovic and Rasevic: Indictment accepted

Savo Todovic and Mitar Rasevic are charged with crimes committed against civilians who were detained in Correctional Facility Foca.
The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has accepted the adapted indictment against Mitar "Mica" Rasevic and Savo Todovic, both former members of Army of Republika Srpska.

Todovic and Rasevic were originally charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and in October of last year they were sent to Sarajevo, in accordance with the Tribunal's exit strategy.

They are both charged that they - jointly with other members of Army of Republika Srpska, police, paramilitary formations and prison staff in Foca – took part in "a joint criminal act"against civilians who were detained in the Correctional Facility Foca (KP dom) "which had all the characteristics of a detention camp".

They are also charged with taking part in"planning, ordering, committing, encouraging and assisting in expulsion of non-Serbs on political, national, ethnic and religious basis, torture, beating, murdering, inhumane treatment, forced labour, forced disappearance and deportation".

According to the Prosecution of BiH, Rasevic and Todovic have command and personal responsibility for the events listed in the indictment. Rasevic was commander of the guard and Todovic was deputy warden and second in command.

According to the indictment, at least 700 camp inmates were detained in KP dom Foca.

The indictment claims that Rasevic and Todovic were involved in establishing and maintaining the system of punishment and torture of KP dom Foca camp inmates, which was carried out by guards and members of military and civilian police forces who entered the prison "with their approval".

According to the indictment, after an inmate escaped and was later caught on July 8, he was first beaten then detained in solitary confinement for 28 days. It is alleged that during that period Todovic, joined by other guards, "tortured him and beat him with chains and fists all over his body".

The indictment also claims that on multiple occasions from June to August 1992, civilians and military policemen came to KP dom Foca. These individuals chained camp inmates before beating them by spreading their arms and legs, then kicked them and beat them with rubber bats, axe handles and fists, all of which was "known and approved by Rasevic and Todovic". Some of thecamp inmates died as a consequence of these beatings.

It is alleged that Todovic and Rasevic also established a system of forced labour. The inmates were forced to work in a furniture factory, metal and mechanic shop, carry out agricultural jobs, work in mills and the Miljevina mine, and clear rubble from damaged buildings in Foca.

It is further stated that from July 1993 to end of October 1994 detainees from KP dom in Foca were transferred to other facilities. The transfer was supervised by both indictees. Some of the deported detainees disappeared and have still not been found, while the bodies of others have been found in mass graves.

KP dom in Foca was one of the biggest prisons on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Within the complex consisting of a few buildings, detainees were held in the central building consisting of four floors, a few shops and a furniture factory. There were at least eight 3x3 metre solitary confinement areas in the building. The entire prison complex had a three-metre-high wall around it with barbed wire on top, as well as six cabins for guards each with a heavy machine gun.

Camp inmates consisted of men from 16 to 80 years of age, some of whom had special needs, were in very poor health conditions or were disabled.

According to the explanation enclosed with the indictment, in April 1992 many uniformed soldiers were present in KP dom in Foca who were, according to witnesses, Yugoslav National Army Uzice Corps soldiers, soldiers from Montenegro, but also soldiers of other regular and irregular formations such as "Beli orlovi" (White eagles), Arkan's and Seselj's military units, whose soldiers could enter the camp as they wished.

The War Crimes Chamber of the Court of BiH is currently hearing a trial against Momcilo Mandic, minister of justice informer Republika Srpska BiH government who is, among other things, charged with the formation of a detention camp in KP dom Foca.

Todovic and Rasevic are scheduled to enter a plea on January 15, 2007.
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