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30 September 2015
News

Witness Describes Being Detained With Her Children in Jasenica

Albina Sorguč BIRN BiH Sarajevo

A state prosecution witness testifying at the trial of three former police officials charged with war crimes in the Bosanska Krupa area said she and her two young children were detained in a house in Jasenica by the defendants in 1995.

Jadranko Saran, Samir Sabic and Zijad Kadic have been charged with detaining Serb and Croat civilians as well as one prisoner of war. The defendants allegedly killed and inhumanely treated the detainees. They have also been charged with unjustifiably delaying the dismantling of concentration camps in several buildings in Bosanska Krupa from September 1995 to July 1996.

Saran was the head of the public safety station in Bosanska Krupa, Sabic was the commander of the police section in Jesenica and Kadic was a police officer.

Saran allegedly ordered the detention of civilians in the Jasenica concentration camp. The civilians were observed by guards, over whom Sabic had effective control. The prosecution alleges that the civilians were held in inhumane conditions and taken to other locations to perform forced labour. Two children were imprisoned as well.

Under one of the counts in the indictment, Zijad Kadic has been charged with wounding civilian and former prisoner Milka Curguz while she was performing forced labour.

Fahrudin Hadziosmanagic-Tadzic was originally indicted with Saran, Sabic and Kadic, but the case against him was separated.

State prosecution witness Slavica Strbac testified at today’s hearing. Strabac said she was taken to a house in Jasenica with her two children, a 14 year old son and a five year old daughter. She said her parents were also being held in detention at the same location. She said they were interrogated in their home and handed over to Samir Sabic.

She said Sabic took her personal identification card and driver’s license. She said she and her children were detained in Brane Veinovic’s house.

“My children slept on a couch, other people slept on the floor,” Strbac said. She said she knew Sabic’s first name and a man nicknamed Hapica.

When asked how the guards treated them, Strbac said she and other prisoners were forced to work.

“They forced women to load fire woods onto a tractor. Hapica always accompanied them, carrying a rifle. He was shouting all the time,” Strbac said. She said Hapica beat two detainees.

She said detainee Milka Curguz told her Hapica had shot her in the leg.

Strbac said Samir Sabic told her to help her mother make meals for soldiers. She said her mother had permission to feed her cattle once a day.

Strbac said her children and other detainees were taken to Jasenica from the village of Podvran. She said she lived in Podvran until May 20, 1996.

Prior to Strbac’s testimony, Saran’s defense attorney informed the court that Fahrudin Hadziosmanagic-Tadzic had died.

The trial will continue on October 7.

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