Tatjana Tabački and Andrej Jakovljev

Prison camps in Serbia in the 90s

 

 

 

 

Case study 4

INTRODUCTION

During the war in the nineties in the former Yugoslavia (SFRJ), there were at least eight prison camps on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. During the period between October 1991 and mid-August 1992, there were six camps for Croats which were formed by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and the Military Security. Between the end of July 1995 and 10 April 1996, the Serbian State Security Administration and the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs formed two camps in Serbia for the Bosniaks from the territory of Zepa, Srebrenica and the surrounding places in northeast Bosnia and Herzegovina. The camps for Bosniaks were located at Mitrovo Polje near Aleksandrovac and Sljivovica near Cajetina.

The camps for Croats were located in Begejci, known today as Torak, in the municipality of Zitiste, and in Stajicevo, in the municipality of Zrenjanin. The camp in Sremska Mitrovica was located in a part of the Correctional Institution Sremska Mitrovica, the one in Nis on the premises of the Correctional Institution Nis and the military prison in Nis. The camp in the Military-Investigative Prison in Belgrade, at the Military Court in 29 Ustanicka Street and the camp in Banjica in Belgrade, was located in the underground facilities of the Security Institute. Most of the camp prisoners were captured during the military operations on the territories of Vukovar, Osijek and their surroundings.

The most significant decisions of the state and military leadership do not exist in written form. Only the decision on establishing the camps was made in writing and was kept top secret. The Ministry of Defence's Department for Regulations, i.e. its legal directorate, took part in preparing the order for forming the camps in September 1991. The order was signed by Veljko Kadijevic.

It is brief – only one page long. In the order, the formation and work organization of the camps, interrogation of prisoners, as well as everything else related to nutrition, protection, releasing the captives, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Military Security and teams that were formed with the task of choosing the commanders of the camps, the number of assistants and the guards. The majority of the guards were members of the military police, mostly non-commissioned officers, but there were regular soldiers among them. A number of soldiers was later retained in the military – in accordance with the three-year employment contract – while others went into active service as non-commissioned officers.

Witnesses in several cases that were tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY) spoke about the formation of the camps on the territory of Serbia. By analyzing the testimonies from many Hague cases, it can be concluded that the same pattern was used in the testimony of people from the Military Security’s leadership. In their testimonies, for example, General Aleksandar Vasiljevic and Colonel Bogdan Vujic cite parts of the truth, minimize their own role, and pin the blame on people from the army or the country’s leadership – either those that are not alive or those that had already been accused of war crimes in another indictment. It is known that at that time, Colonel Vujic led one of three groups formed by the Military Security, which covered a large area, and according to his own testimony, he was one of the interrogators in Begejci and Sremska Mitrovica. At that time, General Vasiljevic was his direct superior. The authors of this text got in touch with General Vasiljevic, who refused to speak about the camps and labelled them as collective centres.

The situation is quite similar when it comes to the documentation sent from Serbia to the Hague Tribunal. According to retired Colonel Lakic Djorovic’s claims, there is practically not one single document that has not been fully or partially falsified. Also, there was a committee comprised of 23 generals and colonels in charge of technical cooperation with the ICTY, which worked on a daily basis on preparing witnesses for testimonies in The Hague. Many of these generals later became Chiefs of Staff or candidates for the position. Documents about the camps in the territory of the Republic of Serbia are authentic only in the part where they refer to the decision on releasing the prisoners.

Members of the Military Security were called investigators, and they had to submit their records of interrogations to, among others, the duty counsel.

As a pretense of respect for human rights and respect for the Geneva Convention, the prisoners were being granted duty counsel, who were in fact officers from the JNA’s Legal Service, thus allegedly guarding a military secret, but in fact all steps were taken to cover up the truth about the treatment of prisoners at the camps.

The state of Serbia has never acknowledged its involvement in the war in the nineties in former Yugoslavia. The existence of the camps in 1991 and 1992 is a prelude to the subsequently elaborate mechanism of concealment and denial of crimes. We now know that when it comes to the war, regardless of whether it was waged in Bosnia, Croatia or Kosovo, and when it comes to the war crimes committed, it was all orchestrated by the state of Serbia, i.e. its highest officials. From the nationalistic political platform of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences and its academics, to the technical and organizational details which were the responsibility of the army, and particularly the Military Security.

War crimes in the former Yugoslavia are still not being talked about, not taught in schools, history is being falsified. It took 20 years to open up the topic of genocide in Srebrenica at the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska (RS), because the monstrosity of this crime meant it could not be swept under the rug. Refrigerator cars full of slain Kosovo Albanians in Batajnica are only spoken about in the civil sector. The war in Croatia is least frequently discussed, and almost nothing is known about the camps on the territory of Serbia.

However, these camps, formed on the territory of Serbia at the very beginning of the war, form a paradigm of the entire conflict and a basis for the then state leadership and secret service members for all subsequent crimes, because they saw that they could do it.

So far in Serbia, only Crevar Marko was sentenced for war crimes against prisoners of war – on 18 February 2015 at the Higher Court in Belgrade War Crimes Department. Crevar was a guard at the Correctional Institution Sremska Mitrovica and was sentenced to one and a half years in prison.

BEGEJCI

Begejci (known today as Torak), a village in the municipality of Zitiste in the Central Banat District, is located on the left bank of the Begej River, at the crossroads that lead from Zrenjanin to Timișoara in Romania. There are 2291 inhabitants living in Torak. The majority of the residents are of Romanian nationality, followed by Serbs, Hungarians and Roma people. At one time, the village changed its name to Torak, according to testimonies of villagers, because the name Begejci become synonymous with the existence of the camps for Croats in 1991. Despite this, the state of Serbia still calls them collective centres today. Retired Lieutenant Colonel of the JNA's Legal Service Lakic Djorovic told the text's authors in an interview that collective centres are out of the question: "If they are collective centres, why were they not formed closer to the border, since such facilities are temporary? The term 'collective centre' was deliberately chosen in order to cover up the crime. These are classic camps, which are mentioned in the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war, and the term camp indicates a violation of that Convention".

A camp for Croats from the territory of the current Republic of Croatia (Greater Osijek, Vukovar and Vinkovci) and Vojvodina was opened in Begejci on 1 October 1991. The camp was closed on 21 November 1991. In his testimony,1 Dr. Mladen Loncar, a psychiatrist, claims that the unit of the First Military District of JNA from Bubanj Potok began preparations for the camp in early September. During his testimony in The Hague2 – when lawyers asked him who founded the centre in Begejci and what the centre's organizational structure was – Colonel Bogdan Vujic referred to the regulations and jurisdiction in the accordance with which JNA's security officers worked, and concluded that the treatment of prisoners of war is regulated by the Federal Secretary of People's Defense. Vujic assumes that there was a command for establishing the camp and that it specifies who would be performing which task, but stresses that he has never seen that order. When lawyer Vasic asked: "Can you say that Begejci, as well as Vukovar, were within the First Military District's area of responsibility?" Vujic replied: "Yes, Begejci were within the First Military District's area of responsibility, located 100 kilometers from the war zone. This is in accordance with regulations."3

ARRIVAL TO THE CAMP

Members of the Croatian armed forces, as well as civilians, women and children were imprisoned at the camp. It is estimated that 750 prisoners passed through the Begejci camp.4 According to Manda Patko's testimony,5 there were 37 women in Begejci. Most of the prisoners were arrested during the military operations of the JNA and paramilitary units in Vukovar, Osijek and surrounding areas. Antun Bare from Vukovar, captured on 20 October 1991 at around noon, testifies in the book Through the Roads of Hell into the 21st Century6 that after his surrender, he was listed, loaded onto the bus along with other prisoners, where he was told that he would be transferred to Novi Sad, and would from there be able to go wherever he wished. He says that they had to be bent over with their head between their knees during the entire bus ride. When they crossed into Serbia, everything they had with them was taken away, i.e. everything of any value, with the threat that anyone who raised their head would be shot.

Serbian citizens of Croatian ethnicity were also among the captives. Hague witness GH0717 was arrested in Vrbas by two civilians who on that occasion pulled him out of a vehicle, and took him and his colleague to the police station in Vrbas. He was not told what the reasons for his arrest were. The witness assumes that he was arrested on the basis of Croatian license plates. He testifies that he and his colleague were separated and that he was interrogated for 4-5 hours about who he was and why he was in Vrbas. He was then transferred to the Secretariat of Internal Affairs (SUP) in Novi Sad, where the police continued to question him. Around 3 a.m., a vehicle without license plates transferred the witness to Paragovo (a place near Novi Sad) and handed him over to the JNA army. The witness states that there already were some prisoners in Paragovo and that 7-8 people already lay on the floor of the room where he was kept. The building's windows were barred, and the barracks were guarded by military police. In Paragovo, the witness was questioned by a JNA captain and another officer whose rank he does not remember. In Paragovo, the witness recognized two or three prisoners, among others the ICTY witness in the Goran Hadzic trial, Dr. Mladen Loncar, with whom he was later imprisoned in Begejci. The witness states that there were reservists from Serbia and Croatia in Paragovo who refused to participate in military operations. After two or three days of questioning, the witness arrived in Begejci by car, accompanied by military police.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CAMP

Based on the testimony of Hague witness GH071,8 the testimony of Dr. Mladen Loncar,9 as well as numerous testimonies of prisoners described in the book Through the Roads of Hell into the 21st Century,10 we know that the camp was located in an abandoned farmhouse near the village Begejci. In his testimony, Colonel Bogdan Vujic11 says that there was a camp for German prisoners of war located in the same place after World War Two. The farmhouse had a 50x10-metre-large one-storey building (for prisoners) originally built for breeding cattle, and a 10x7-metre-large building (command building where soldiers were housed). The narrow circle around the building where the prisoners were held was surrounded by barbed wire. The entire complex was also surrounded by barbed wire and illuminated by floodlights. Military police with dogs patrolled the space between the two sets of barbed wire.12 According Dr. Mladen Loncar's testimony,13 the camp's outer circle was secured by members of the Secretariat of Internal Affairs. At the camp's entrance, there were military policemen and a 2-3-metre-high machine-gun nest. According to Dr. Mladen Loncar14, there were improvised toilets (dug holes surrounded by nylon) on the side of the building where the prisoners were located. In front of the entrance to prisoners' builiding, there was a bucket with water and one glass that all the prisoners shared. The door of the stable in which the prisoners were located was never closed – even though it was winter – the floors were made of concrete, and livestock feeders were located on the building's side walls.

RECEPTION

In the Goran Hadzic trial in The Hague, Dr. Mladen Loncar15 testifies that after leaving the vehicle he found himself in front of a double row made up of 5-6 soldiers on wither side. The prisoners were forced to pass between the two lines, when they were beaten with sticks, bars, iron rods, kicked and punched. The witness claims that his only thought was to not stay on the ground, because every blow to the head could have been fatal. Also in The Hague, witness GH07116 testifies that after the military police drove him to Begejci and took him out of the car, the beating immediately started. On that occasion, he was thrown onto the barbed wire and hit the entire time. He later learned that one of the guards was called Zare, and concluded based on his white belt that he was military police. After the "reception", they were brought into the barn where they were searched and where all their personal belongings were confiscated – medicine, money, personal documents...

LIFE AT THE CAMP

In his testimony in The Hague, Dr. Mladen Loncar17 claims that the camp was so full when he arrived that one could only lie to the side if one wanted to sleep. Witnesses describe the very difficult living conditions, the lack of food, the cold and the constant torture inflicted by the guards. The guards would constantly beat them when they wanted to go to the improvised toilets. They were being woken in the middle of the night and forced to sing the national anthem, Chetnik songs, accompanied by constant harassment. The living conditions in Begejci were also testified to by Colonel Bogdan Vujic18: "The living and working conditions were diffcult. Unpleasant even. I find it hard even to remember the fact that I was there and how I worked. If there ever was a time where I was sorry for being somewhere I should not have been, that was it... I thought afterwards that I should not have... But I had the satisfaction of contributing, because I really worked on uncovering war crimes and the perpetrators of war crimes." General Aleksandar Vasiljevic says19: "Because when I came to this area, I was curious to see what it was, this collective centre. So, I estimated that these were not at all appropriate conditions for the accommodation of these people, because it was extremely cold, the facilities were not being heated and I intervened at the Supreme Command Staff with that information, after which they were transferred to the Correctional Institution in Sremska Mitrovica and the Correctional Institution in Nis, where these people had completely normal living conditions."

Dr. Mladen Loncar testifies about the beating of Zlatko Brajer, a retired teacher, who died from his injuries in Begejci. Loncar argues in his testimony in The Hague20 that, at the invitation of Colonel Miroslav Zivanovic, he was taken to the command building, where Brajer lay on the floor, not breathing and without a pulse. He tried to reanimate him and realized that all his ribs were broken, because there was no resistance of the chest and his body was full of hematoma. In the same testimony at the Goran Hadzic trial, Dr. Mladen Loncar states that the women imprisoned at Begejci were being taken to long interrogations in the afternoon and in the evenings, and that they sometimes stayed the whole night. In his later work with rape victims, Dr. Mladen Loncar learned that these women were being taken away and raped in the barracks where the guards were housed, and that some were taken to hotels in Zrenjanin. Dr. Mladen Loncar says, "They served as private prostitutes". When asked by the lawyer21: "Did you ever witness force being used on the prisoners there?", Colonel Vujic replied: "No. I would not have allowed that. I am telling the truth. I was a principled officer, as far as the laws and regulations were concerned, and in that context I drew the attention of disciplinary superiors. So I kept telling Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic Miroslav to take good care of carrying everything out in accordance with the rules, the law, because, in any case, there will be consequences. I also told this to my superior, Colonel Tomic. During our work, we would first take a minibus from the Zrenjanin barracks, and then from the municipal ... the building of the municipal administration in Zitiste, and that was how we lost time during the day. The day was short, so that was how we came close... in Zitiste. We performed tasks or carried out conversations only when it was visible. So, the time for this was until 4 p.m. We would return to the barracks, so I had no overview or even a glimpse of what was going on during the nights." From this testimony, it is clear that the leaders of the Municipality of Zitiste, the JNA army, many from the Zrenjanin barracks and the counter-intelligence service of the JNA knew about the existence of the camp and also organized interrogations, and it is clear that the interrogators had no idea of what was going on in the camp after 4 p.m, when the prisoners were left alone with the guards.

The text "Divlji gosti pitome ravnice" (Wild guests of the gentle plains)22 states that on the order of the Command of the First Military District, a collective centre for prisoners – members of the Croatian military forces – was formed in Begejci. The centre was located in a local hunters' house, at the village’s exit. There were among the prisoners people who did not take part in military actions against the JNA, but the army "tucked them away" so as to avoid them being killed by the Croatian authorities. The commander of the center, Lieutenant Colonel Nikola Petrovic told Zrenjanin that the cooperation between the Centre and the Municipality of Zitiste were at a high level.

In 2002, Radio Free Europe broadcast the testimony of Djordje Kitaresku, who was a witness to the camp in Begejci, known nowadays as Torak. In September 1991, members of the military police came to pick him up and asked him to show them where the substation was. Within two weeks, the army rearranged the hunting club’s premises and placed barbed wire around it.

At that time, Kitaresku was Secretary of the hunting society "Fazan". Even though he was a civilian, he had unimpeded access to the camp thanks to the fact that the nature of his work gave him detailed knowledge of the terrain around the camp. He entered the camp countless times, day and night, and watched as the guards took the prisoners to breakfast – their heads were bowed. He also confirms the violence against prisoners during interrogations. According to him, around forty reservists were guarding the prisoners. He places special emphasis on a guard nicknamed Seki, who he claims used to beat up prisoners and then boast about it.

Djordje Kitaresku’s pass for entering the camp was signed by Lieutenant Colonel Nikola Petrovic, the camp’s commander at the time.

According to Kitaresku, the stables, i.e. the camp’s building, was demolished on the orders of Lieutenant Colonel Nikola Petrovic in August 1992. The material remaining from the demolition of the camp was used for building a church in the Visnjicevo village in Banat, in the municipality of Zitiste.

STAJICEVO

Stajicevo is a village in the municipality of Zrenjanin, in the Central Banat District, on the 12th kilometer of the Zrenjanin - Belgrade highway. The population of Stajicevo is 1,600, 97% of which are people of Serbian ethnicity.

In the period starting from 18 November 1991, after the fall of Vukovar, prisoners of war were brought here. The camp was closed on 22 December 1991, when most of the prisoners were transferred to the Correctional Institution in Sremska Mitrovica. According to estimates, between 1,300 and 1,500 people were imprisoned at the Stajicevo camp. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia states that there were 1,700 prisoners in Stajicevo. It was located on the site of an old agricultural company "Livade", which is now owned by the Zrenjanin-based oil company "Dijamant" and the Croatian "Agrokor". The prisoners were members of the Croatian armed forces, but also civilians, patients and medical staff from the Vukovar hospital.

According to a statement from Magyar Szo's journalist given to the text's authors on June 26, 2016 in Zrenjanin, a session of the Municipal Assembly was held on 27 November 1991. One of the topics of the session – which was closed to the public only in the part concerning the camp in Stajicevo – was the safety of the residents of Stajicevo because three of the prisoners had escaped from the camp. Lieutenant Colonel of the JNA spoke to the local MPs and said that the situation was stabilized, and that the "minor revolt" had been stifled. In fact, the three inmates that escaped from the camp stopped at a local cafe in Stajicevo to ask for directions and were immediately captured by the residents who beat them up and called the army. The soldiers continued to beat them, and in the words of the Lieutenant Colonel, one of them was shot in the stomach and put back among the other prisoners. The journalist says that a few days later, at the insistence of the guards who could no longer listen to the cries of the wounded prisoner, the prisoner was transported to the Zrenjanin hospital and managed to survive.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CAMP

The prisoners were housed in multiple stables of the local agricultural union (cattle farm). The stables and the limited space around them were fenced with barbed wire and the guards were military policemen with official guard dogs. The military policemen were constantly inside the stables, among the prisoners. Amnesty International reports23 that the camp was located on an abandoned cattle farm, and that it consisted of two pavilions surrounded by a barbed-wire fence about three metres high. In the very beginning, there was no toilet, or water to drink. After the arrival of the Red Cross, toilets were made and a watering trough set up. People sat for days on the concrete, tied with wire or plastic, and after a while they got straw on the floor and blankets, and were able to lie down. The windows of the building where the prisoners were located were mostly broken, so the building's interior was extremely cold, considering the fact that it was November and December.

ARRIVAL TO THE CAMP

Witness Branko Culic24 testified that he was one of the members of the Croatian army imprisoned at the Stajicevo camp after the JNA took the city of Vukovar in November 1991. He testifies that after surrendering to the JNA, they were told to get on the buses. He was in the second or third bus, he cannot remember exactly. Military officers, the members of the JNA who searched them, told them that nothing would happen to them, that they would be transferred to a camp for prisoners. They drove through Borovo and Trpinja, and then crossed the bridge at Bogojevo and entered Vojvodina. From Bogojevo, they were transferred to Stajicevo. The witness speaks of the reception at the camp. He was wounded in the right arm. After descending from the bus, they were blinded by a jeep's headlights, then passed through a double row of military police officers who beat them with truncheons, hands, feet and wooden sticks. He remembers a military policeman striking a female prisoner in a military uniform and states that it was a gruesome sight. Mirko Kovacic remembers the reception in Stajićevo: "We got our first taste at the Stajicevo camp after leaving the bus, going through the double row. All my teeth and my lip upper were smashed with a gun, we then spent the morning in Stajicevo, completely frozen, lying in cow droppings, because we were in a huge cow barn which had not been used for 20 years."25

LIFE AT THE CAMP

"There was no water for five days. No food for four days. November 29 came – Republic Day. We thought we would get our first food, but we actually got for the first time a hot meal, very small, with a piece of bread. And that was enough. That's when I first had to go take care of my physiological needs and it woke me up somewhere in the middle of the night. That was after 19 days. You can imagine what that is like. The guard took me out of the barn and said: 'Are you almost done?! If not, I'm going to kill you on the spot. I said, 'Kill me however you want,' I said, 'I can't'. Then he broke two of my ribs with his rifle and damaged one of my organs, I will not mention which one."26

At the Goran Hadzic trial, witness Branko Culic27 says that they slept in the stables divided into two rows; the guards, accompanied by German Shepherds, passed between and beat them. Anyone who raised their head would immediately be beaten. If they had to use the bathroom, they raised their hands, and as they walked to the makeshift toilets, guards would beat them, even as they were using the toilet. The witness describes the death of Ivan Kunc, a man who used to live in the street next to his in Vukovar and went to school with his older brother. He states that the prisoners were generally in a very bad mental state, often instinctively got up and began to run, and the guards would immediately beat them up. This happened to Kunc as well, who succumbed to his injuries from beatings. This entire event took place not 10 metres from the witness Culic.

ARRIVAL OF THE RED CROSS

Mirko Kovacic's testimony:28 "On 2 December a woman finally arrived, wonderful Mary, President of the International Red Cross from Geneva. She came with her companions. Two little ladies from Belgrade that misinterpreted what was happenning in the barn, at the camp. I explained everything to her in Italian. And immediately there was writing. Such that we all got our numbers and became more confident in our lives, meaning that for the first time then I felt I could walk more freely. And then on 6 December at six in the morning, she came back with her group and picked up all of us over the age of 60 – 28 of us. Among the 1,200 they were brought there, there were 25 minors. And during the lining up in the morning on that 6 December, my son who was with me, he could not be part of the charge, because I did not allow him to be part of charge on the 17th, because you cannot be part of it with a single bullet and a rotten gun. So he joined us and thank God, pulled through. However, he even celebrated his birthday at the camp and so he came, since he could speak English, he told Mrs. Mary something, and Lieutenant Colonel Zivanovic, who was the commander of the camp, told me: 'Man,' he says, 'what is that son of yours doing there?' So I said: 'Mrs. Mary,' I said, 'she is congratulating him', kissing him, 'it's his birthday'. Then I said, 'Colonel, can my son come with me?' Zivanovic took the list from Mrs. Mary, it had been written in French on a letterhead of the international organization, and he penciled in the name of my son and we left the Stajicevo camp on 6 December and returned to exile, six years in Zagreb. There, that's the story. And those details that are related to the camps, you've heard stories, I don't want to burden you with those. However, my student Jova was waiting for me in Velepromet, who beat me up good, but even today I still meet Bata the tailor at the store, we buy bread together and we greet eachother. I also meet Jova, who greets me and says: 'You look well, professor.' There, that's s life in Vukovar for you. Thank you very much."

GUARDS

From our research it is clear who was in command of the camps, and who conducted prisoner interrogations. These are members of the military security – in the case of Begejci that was Colonel Nikola Petrovic, and in the case of Stajicevo it was Colonel Miroslav Zivanovic, member of the JNA Counterintelligence Service (KOS). From the ICTY testimonies of General Aleksandar Vasiljevic who was at the head of KOS at the time, and of Colonel Bogdan Vujic, it is clear that Vasiljevic used to visit the camps and that Vujic was there as an interrogator. As for the guards, we come across nicknames, the same ones at all the camps, from which we conclude that upon the closure of one camp, the exact same guards went to the next and then tortured prisoners there. For example, from Begejci to Stajicevo, and from Stajicevo to the Correctional Institution in Nis and the Correctional Institution in Sremska Mitrovica. Based on the book Through the Roads of Hell into the 21st Century,29 where there are more than one thousand testimonies of former prisoners and data which the Croatian State Prosecution managed to acquire, based on the testimonies of more than 200 former prisoners, based on the testimonies at The Hague and the testimony of Dr. Mladen Loncar and judge Miroslav Rozac, we come across the following nicknames of the guards: Borko, Rambo, Madjar, Tajci, Plavi 9, Vojo, Zare, Seki, Ljubo...

According to the Amnesty International report,30 all the prisoners have described the conditions as extremely difficult, cold and unhygienic. In the first pavilion, the prisoners (around 900 of them) slept on the concrete floor. A day after their arrival they were given blankets, and a week later a second blanket. After around ten days – and the weather was extremely cold – most of the prisoners were given a military coat and straw to lie on. The prisoners attribute these improvements to the visit of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on 2 December in 1991.

During the first 10 days in prison, inmates were given two meals per day, a third of a cup of unsweetened tea, a slice of bread and a piece of salami or melted cheese. On the eve of the ICRC's visit, they were given three meals a day for the first time, which included cooked food (of poor quality). During the first three days of imprisonment, the prisoners relieved themselves on the floor of the pavilion, where they also slept and spent the entire day. When the stench became unbearable, the prisoners were taken out, under guard, to do what they had to against the wall of the pavilion. After 10 days, toilets were built. They only got drinking water on the second day of their stay at the camp, and washing water five or six days later. In these circumstances, the sufferings of the sick, wounded and elderly were particularly severe. According to the testimony of two doctors, there were around 170 injured persons among the prisoners in Stajicevo, including people with serious gunshot wounds, prisoners with an amputated leg and a few hundred sick persons. There were around 150 people over the age of 60. Many of them were chronically ill, their deseases included diabetes, heart and lung disease, active tuberculosis and epilepsy. One of the prisoners was semi-paralysed, and two of them were schizophrenics. As the weather grew colder, and the food and water were of extremely poor quality, many of the prisoners were getting diarrhea. When they asked the commander of the camp for medicine, they were told that the JNA didn't have the medicine they needed and that they would get them from the Red Cross.

SREMSKA MITROVICA

Sremska Mitrovica is the largest town in Srem, the administrative centre of the Srem District and one of the oldest towns in Vojvodina and in Serbia. The city is located on the left bank of the Sava River. According to the 2002 census, its population is 39,084. Sremska Mitrovica is where a Correctional Institution is located, one in which prisoners of war were kept. The Institution is classified as a general type institution, and when it comes to the degree of security, it is classified as a closed institution with closed, semi-open and open departments and a department for custody. According to the witness and prisoner Sulejman Tihic:31 "Part of this prison, that was once made by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, one quarter of the prison was under the JNA's control and that was a concentration camp during 1991 and 1992. One quarter that was specially fenced and that is why I said that." From the end of World War One until 1941, the Correctional Institution was part of the penal system of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and since the end of World War II, its function was to be as part of the system of implementing criminal sanctions of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and the Republic of Serbia. The Institute preserved its original appearance, and no architectural interventions have been carried out so far. Architectural facilites that make up the Institute differ in their purpose. The first facility is intended for the initial phase of the cell, individual accommodation, while the second facility is made up of multiple large-capacity common rooms, which simultaneously represent the living area and bedrooms of identical size, with 80 to 90 prisoners in each one. The building's small rooms, originally intended for the isolation phase, now accommodate two, three or four prisoners, as well as prisoners serving the disciplinary sanction of solitary confinement. These rooms are characteristically accessed through the gallery, which is on two levels. The common rooms and the staff offices are part of the pavilion. The third facility or pavilion is intended for the serving of sentences of young adults and the reception department is also located there.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CAMP

The camp was located in the main building which was around 60-70 metres long and 8 metres wide. The building was made up of pavilions with various rooms and solitary conifinement cells. The basement was used as a room for torturing prisoners. For months, the prisoners did not have the possibility of taking a shower or washing up, so they woukd often get lice, which is why the guards would spray them with insecticide. It was only after two and a half months – due to pressure from the Red Cross – that the prisoners were allowed to wash themselves.

The camp was opened during the siege and fall of Vukovar, and was closed in August 1992, after the meeting between the then Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Panic and Croatian Prime Minister Franjo Greguric, who reached an all for all agreement in Budapest regarding the exchange of prisoners. The first contingent of prisoners was exchanged in Nemetin, and several days later the remaining 1,500 people from all prisons and camps that existed in the territory of the Republic of Serbia were also exchanged.

ARRIVAL TO THE CAMP

In his testimony, Sandor Zeljko32 says that he was transferred from Vukovar to the "Borovo" factory, after which he was transported by bus to Sremska Mitrovica together with the other prisoners. The bus was stopped in Bogojevo, where the prisoners were first beaten. A JNA soldier forced the witness to come crawling out of the bus, where he was met by two other soldiers who pulled him out of the bus, then handed him over to four others who began brutally beating the witness with their hands, feet and gunstocks. The witness states that he was covered in bruises. After the beatings, they were put back on the bus and they continued their journey to Sremska Mitrovica.

In addition to the prisoners from Vukovar's surroundings, the Institution in Sremska Mitrovica also imprisoned a small number of people from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). One of them was Sulejman Tihic, who would later become a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a representative of the Bosniak people. The witness Tihic33 states that he was first arrested by members of Arkan's Tigers in Bosanski Samac. At the Bosanski Samac police station, he and others were brought in under arrest and tortured, both mentally and physically. The witness recognized Zvezdan Jovanovic – who is now in Serbia, serving a sentence for the murder of Prime Minister Dr. Zoran Djindjic – as one of the people who beat him. The witness claims that Zvezdan Jovanovic's reputation in Bosanski Samac was that of a master of life and death. After Samac, he was transferred to the JNA's barracks in Brcko, where, according to his testimony, the conditions were acceptable. After Brcko, he was transferred to Bijeljina, where he spent two or three days. After Bijeljina, a few of them were transferred by helicopter to Batajnica, where they were held from 3 to 27 May 1992. From there, the witness was transferred to Sremska Mitrovica, where he remained until the exchange on 14 August 1992.

LIFE AT THE CAMP

Sandor Zeljko testifies34 that at the entrance of the Correctional Institution in Sremska Mitrovica, he passed through a double row of guards together with other prisoners, and they were beaten by truncheons, wooden sticks and gunstocks. After that "reception", the witness states that he was taken to a cell where there were 120-130 people, and which had no beds. They lay on the wooden floor and there was no room. Whenever the prisoners heard the door being unlocked, it was a sign that the guards were coming and that they had to stand up, turn towards the wall, bend their heads and put their hands on their backs. The bathroom was in the basement, and during the first month, the prisoners were forbidden from washing themselves.

In the indictment brought against Marko Crevar35, member of the Territorial Defense (TO) within the JNA, then of the Serbian Autonomous Region (SAO) Krajina police force, as well as of the police force of the newly formed Republika Srpska Krajina, a guard at the Correctional Institution Sremska Mitrovica explains himself in detail, and there is data on the torture of prisoners at the Correctional Institution Sremska Mitrovica. It is alleged that on 18 November 1991, after battles in the greater territory of Vukovar, in the village Mitnica, a number of members of the Croatian armed forces, including the damaged Marjan Karaula and Dubravko Gvozdanovic, put their weapons down and surrendered to members of the JNA. They were first transferred to Ovcara by JNA members, and from there to a reception centre at the Correctional Institution in Sremska Mitrovica in the Republic of Serbia on 19 November. Marko Crevar took an active role in deciding which of the persons detained in the city would to be taken into captivity, since he had worked at the Secretariat of Internal Affairs (SUP) in Vukovar prior to the conflict's outbreak, and therefore knew all the injured parties from before, as Marjan Karaula notes in his statement. He explains that Crevar set him from a column of civilians who were leaving the city and ordered one of the soldiers that was there to protect him at all costs. During the interrogations, Marko Crevar tortured the prisoners of war, asking them to admit to what they had been charged with and provide information of military significance, while simultaneously inflicting injuries on them. He hit Marjan Karaula with a metal object in the spinal area, and kept slapping him so hard that the blows threw Karaula to the ground, after which he continued to beat him on the back and head with clenched fists. As he lay on the floor, he kept forcing him to get up, counting as they do in boxing, but Marjan Karaula could not get up, so he stamped on him with his feet and because of such abuse, Karaula suffered injuries in the form of a crushed body and the crushed lumbar-sacral part of the spine. After asking Dubravko Gvozdanovic where his sister Nada was and whether it was true that he had slaughtered her, he hit him in the head with a clenched fist. The blow threw the injured to the ground, after which he continued to kick him everywhere, initially on his own, and then together with three other persons in camouflage uniforms.

INTERROGATION

Witness Sandor Zeljko states36 that the guard called out names, and when someone was called out, they would leave their cell and be taken to the officer in charge of interrogation. He states on the way to the interrogation office, he was kicked and if he fell, they continued kicking him with the remark: "Look at this Ustasha, he's weak, he can't stand."37 If the prisoner didn't fall down, they continued to hit him on the shoulders, neck, back, all over his body. They were taken to the investigating judge for interrogations. Sometimes the prisoner would wait for hours prior to the interrogation, his head bent, hands behind his back, not daring to look at or speak to anyone. The witness states that Mr. Salic, member of the Counterintelligence Service (KOS),38 was an interrogator in Sremska Mitrovica, and who made him eat salt and pepper during the interrogations, which made him choke, incurred difficulties when swallowing, and he would also vomit and have stomach pains and a burning sensation in his mouth. The inside of his mouth was bloody and cracked. Speaking about the injuries he suffered in Sremska Mitrovica, the witness said that his lungs were damaged, ribs broken, that he suffered damages to his spine, vision and hearing, that he now has constant headaches.
"We were beaten in Mitrovica after every breakfast, after every lunch, after every dinner. I was never beaten as much as I was in Mitrovica, you know. The soldiers beat me. Our lives were far more endangered in Samac, um, but I got the most beatings there, in Sremska Mitrovica. You know, during these three or four months, the JNA transformed itself, you know. From, from those, from that JNA in Brcko that would not allow us to be beaten, to the JNA in Mitrovica, where we were, um, beaten, where we also had to sing Chetnik songs..."39

VERDICT

The only verdict delivered against a guard from a camp in the territory of the Republic of Serbia was the verdict delivered against Marko Crevar on 18 February 2015 by the High Court in Belgrade. That Court's Department for War Crimes issued an indictment on 5 December 2013 against Marko Crevar, member of the Territorial Defense (TO) of the JNA, and the Serbian Autonomous Region (SAO) Krajina police force, as well as of the police force of the newly formed Republika Srpska Krajina (RSK). The indictment contains detailed explanations of the torture of prisoners at the Correctional Institution in Sremska Mitrovica. During the interrogations, Marko Crevar tortured the prisoners of war at the Correctional Institution in Sremska Mitrovica, asking them to admit to what they had been charged with and provide information of military significance, while simultaneously inflicting bodily injuries on them (torture), thus committing a war crime against prisoners of war under Article 144 of the Criminal Law of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), which is why the court, applying the above legal provision and Articles 4, 5, 33, 38, 41, 42 and 43 of the Criminal Law of the FRY, sentenced him to one year and six months in prison.

The conclusion of the Humanitarian Law Centre,40 considering the fact that the minimum penalty provided by law for committing a war crime is five years in prison, is that it remains unclear how the Court found that a sentence of one and a half years in prison was accordance with the Criminal Law. The verdict does not explain the court's conclusion that it was a case of internal, i.e. non-international armed conflict, and such a qualification only appears incidentally. Despite the qualification of the conflict as non-international, it is indicated that the accused violated those rules of international law contained in the Third Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war which apply exclusively to international armed conflict.

NIS

Nis is the largest city in southeastern Serbia and the centre of the Nisava District. According to the 2011 census, 260,237 inhabitants were living in the territory of the city of Nis, and 183,164 inhabitants while living in the urban areas, so Nis was the third largest city in Serbia (after Belgrade and Novi Sad). It is located 237 kilometers southeast of Belgrade, on the river Nisava, near its confluence with the South Morava River. The city of Nis has an area of approximately 596.73 square kilometres, including Niska Banja and 68 suburbs.

The Correctional Institution is located in the western part of Nis, between the regional Nis-Prokuplje road and the Nisava River. The Institute is classified as general, and its security degree as closed. It consists of three pavilions which can accommodate 1,900 prisoners.

According to witnesses, the camp commander was a certain Colonel Jovanovic. The guards who tortured them were soldiers, members of the military police and reservists. The camp was opened on 18 November 1991, the first prisoners were members of the Croatian armed forces – 200 of them from the Mitnica surroundings (an urban part of Vukovar), and closed on 26 February 1992.

ARRIVAL

In his testimony, Branko Culic41 states that together with the other prisoners, he left the camp in Stajicevo some time before the Catholic Christmas of 1991. One group was taken to Sremska Mitrovica and the other to Nis. Culic was part of the group that was taken to Nis. Upon his arrival to the Correctional Institution in Nis, he passed through a high gate to the yard, then through another gate and yard, until the bus finally stopped inside the third yard where he, together with the other prisoners, got off the bus and walked into the building. All of this happened in the middle of night. The guards were members of the military police, quite young people.

RECEPTION

As Culic got out of the bus and was entering the building along with the other prisoners, he passed through a double row of soldiers. He lost his breath from a blow to the chest. The guards were shouting at the prisoners and ordered them to line up against the wall and continue to walk in that fashion. They came across military police, which continued to kick them and ordered them to lower their heads. One of them exclaimed: "My God, do these people stink." The witness goes on to explain that this was true, because he didn't once wash while he was in captivity in Stajicevo. His last washing up had been in Vukovar, before the water and electricity were shut off. The next day, as the prisoners were being placed in their rooms, they were given olive JNA uniforms and were taken to get all their hair cut. Then the prisoners saw the commander of the camp. He came into all the rooms, introduced himself, said that he was a Lieutenant Colonel or Colonel, that he was from Zadar, that he had taken over command of the prison and that the prisoners would remain in Nis until they had been interrogated. He also commented on the fact that the prisoners were beaten, and explained to them that he could not be in two different places at the same time, and that nobody would be beating prisoners after 9 p.m.

LIFE AT THE CAMP

When it comes to everyday life, the Nis camp was not much different from the other camps. The prisoners also had to move around with their heads down, hands behind their backs, which was a feature of all the camps on the territory of Serbia. Therefore, the prisoners were clearly inferior to all the power vested in the guards and interrogators.

INTERROGATION

According to the witness Culic, he was picked up by a military policeman and taken away be to interrogated. He was ordered to bend over, and at the same time hold his hands in front of him and go to the interrogation room in that position. When he entered the room, the military policeman who escorted him hit him from behind in such a way that the prisoner crashed against the wall of the room. As he was entering, the interrogator, a large man, was cursing and began to hit Culic on the hands and head, later beating him all over. He would hit him several times in the exact same place. He was experienced in knowing where to land his blows. This interrogation lasted for seven or eight hours. Branko Culic's cousin was in the adjacent cell. They took turns in being beaten. During the interrogation, they asked various questions related to war activities, they were interested in who shot from a sniper, who set up mines, who killed Serbs and who burned down houses. The witness states that there were no guards in the room during the interrogation. The investigator later called two other persons to come inside. The two would beat the witness, and when they stepped outside, a third person who had not participated in the beatings would try and persuade him to sign a confession which would prevent further beatings. Culic kept responding that he had been honest in his answers that he had said everything he knew and that they could not make him lie. In Nis, the witness did not give any statement and signed no confession because, according to him, there was nothing to say regarding the questions, but also due to the fact that he could not have done so because of the beatings, because he was hit in the chest and asked about his name in order to verify that he was conscious and that they could continue. The interrogator was wearing a uniform without insignia and allegedly he knew how to fight. The same man later questioned this witness at the camp in Sremska Mitrovica. After a whole day of interrogation, a military policeman brought Culic back. He was ordered to put his hands between his legs as he was being dragged by the guard. The torture continued inside the room. The witness was asked to jump and to land on both feet, ten times, and another ten times, and this was done intentionally because the prisoner was being beaten on the soles of his feet. The military police officer eventually asked how many children he had, and that was when he burst into tears for the first time.

Catholic priest Branimir Kosec was captured by JNA soldiers after the fall of Vukovar on 19 November 1991. Kosec was captured in the priory of the Church of Saints Philip and James in Vukovar, where he was pastor. Kosec claims42 that torture was a daily occurence in Nis, he says that the guards mostly beat them at night and did not care who they were beating. Kosec was situated in a room with forty elderly people he claims to have been civilians, just like him. Branimir Kosec testifies that in 1991, while he was in Nis, Colonel Jovanovic called him over and told him that a Croatian prisoner had died and inquired whether he could hold a Catholic service after the burial, since they had not been able to find a local Catholic priest in time. Kosec says that Jovanovic did not tell him about what had happened to the prisoner, who Kosec identified to be Petar Mesic, but says that the guards had bragged earlier that day about beating someone up, that he died immediately afterwards and that they could see his "liver". In July 2010, at the request of Croatian Commission on Detainees and Missing Persons, the first exhumation was carried out at the Nis city cemetery, revealing ten bodies, one of which was identified as Petar Mesic, who was on the Croatian list of missing persons. This was the first confirmation of a Croatian citizen having been buried in Nis.

President of the Serbian Commission for Missing Persons Veljko Odalovic43 also confirms that at least one Croat died in Nis. He says that after ten bodies were exhumed in July 2010, it was "indisputably confirmed that one body was most directly related to persons from Croatia who had been at the collective centres on the territory of Serbia in 1991 were, and part of them had been temporarily situated in Nis". Even the remaining nine of the body are assumed of possibly being correlated to the conflict in the territory of former Yugoslavia, Odalovic added.

CONCLUSION

The first exchange of prisoners – according to witnesses, personally attended by General Aleksandar Vasiljevic – was carried out on 10 December 1991, when around fifty Croatian prisoners were exchanged for members of the JNA captured in Gospic and the members of the "Labrador" group. After the meeting between the then Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Panic and Croatian Prime Minister Franjo Greguric on 14 August 1992, an agreement was reached in Budapest on the exchange of prisoners in Nemetin, based on the all for all principle.

The silence surrounding the camps in Serbia even after 25 years does not bring us closer to reconciliation and cohabitation in this region. It is clear that the then state leadership gave the order for the formation of camps, the JNA army enforced that order, MPs of local parliaments and the local Red Cross knew about the camps and about the fate of some of the prisoners, as did journalists, prosecutors and judges. Based on the testimonies, the Geneva Convention was violated in all the camps for Croats in the Republic of Serbia during the nineties. The obligation of the state of Serbia is to make a departure from these events, because only the recognition and processing of these cases can lead to reconciliation in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

Documents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Statement by Dr. Mladen Loncar given to the text's authors in Osijek on 2 May, 2016.

2 Witness Colonel Bogdan Vujic (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), the "Vukovar Three" trial, case IT-95-13, 20.2.2006, Serbian transcript, p. 11),
http://www.hlc-rdc.org/Transkripti/vukovarska/Transkripti
/2006/Vukovarska-trojka-svedok-Bogdan-Vujic-
20.02.2006..pdf
, (26 June, 2016).

3 Witness Colonel Bogdan Vujic (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), the "Vukovar Three" trial, case IT-95-13, 20.2.2006, Serbian transcript, p. 12),
http://www.hlc-rdc.org/Transkripti/vukovarska/Transkripti
/2006/Vukovarska-trojka-svedok-Bogdan-Vujic-
20.02.2006..pdf
, (26 June, 2016).

4 Statement by Colonel Lakic Djorovic given to the text's authors in Belgrade on 23 July, 2016.

5 Video testimony by Manda Patko on 28-29 October 2008 in Pristina at the 4th Forum for Transitional Justice,
http://www.recom.link/sr/manda-patko/, (25 June, 2016).

6 Prof. Danijel Rehak (ed.), Through the Roads of Hell into the 21st Century (Zagreb, 2000), p. 39.

7 Witness GH071 (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial, case IT-04-75-T, 1.5.2013, English transcript, p. 3949, 3950, 3951, 3953),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/130501ED.html,
(25 June, 2016).

 

 

 

8 Witness GH071 (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial, case IT-04-75-T, 1 May 2013, English transcript, p. 3949, 3950, 3951, 3953),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/130501ED.html, (25 June, 2016).

9 Statement by Dr. Mladen Loncar given to the text's authors in Osijek on 2 May, 2016.

10 Prof. Danijel Rehak (ed.), Through the Roads of Hell into the 21st Century (Zagreb, 2000).

11 Witness Colonel Bogdan Vujic (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), the "Vukovar Three" trial, case IT-95-13, 20 February 2006, Serbian transcript,
p. 13), http://www.hlc-rdc.org/Transkripti/vukovarska/
Transkripti/2006/Vukovarska-trojka-svedok-Bogdan-Vujic-
20.02.2006..pdf
, (26 June, 2016).

12 Statement by judge Miroslav Rozac, investigative judge of the Osijek County Court, given to the text's authors in Osijek on 2 May, 2016.

13 Statement by Dr. Mladen Loncar given to the text's authors in Osijek on 2 May, 2016.

14 Ibid.

15 Witness Dr. Mladen Loncar (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial, case IT-04-75-T, 6 September 2013, English transcript, p. 8231, 8236, 8241),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/130906ED.htm, (24 June, 2016).

16 Witness GH071 (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial, case IT-04-75-T, 1 May 2013, p. 3949, 3950, 3951, 3953),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/130501ED.html, (25 June, 2016).

17 Witness Dr. Mladen Loncar (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial, case IT-04-75-T, 6 September 2013, English transcript, pages 8231, 8236, 8241),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/130906ED.htm, (24 June, 2016).

18 Witness Colonel Bogdan Vujic (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), the "Vukovar Three" trial, case IT-95-13, 20.2.2006., Serbian transcript, p. 13),
http://www.hlc-rdc.org/Transkripti/vukovarska/Transkripti
/2006/Vukovarska-trojka-svedok-Bogdan-Vujic-
20.02.2006..pdf
, (26 June, 2016).

19 Witness General Aleksandar Vasiljevic, (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Slobodan Milosevic trial in The Hague, case IT-02-54, 18. 2. 2003, Serbian transcript, page 583),
http://www.hlc-rdc.org/Transkripti/Milosevic/Transkripti/
Transkripti %20sa%20sudjenja%20Slobodanu%20Milosevicu%
20%2831%29/Transkript%20sa%20sudjenja%20Slobodanu%
20Milosevicu%20-%2018.%20februar%202003..pdf
, (24 June, 2016).

20 Witness Dr. Mladen Loncar (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial, case IT-04-75-T, 5 September 2013, English transcript, p. 8225),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/130905ED.htm, (25 June, 2016).

21 Witness Colonel Bogdan Vujic (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), the "Vukovar Three" trial, case IT-95-13, 20.2.2006, Serbian transcript, p. 13),
http://www.hlc-rdc.org/Transkripti/vukovarska/Transkripti
/2006/Vukovarska-trojka-svedok-Bogdan-Vujic-
20.02.2006..pdf
, (24 June, 2016).

22 R.Z., “Divlji gosti pitome ravnice”, Zrenjanin, no. 2058 (18 October, 1991), p. 3.

 

 

 

23 Amnesty International, YUGOSLAVIA Further reports of torture and deliberate and arbitrary killings in war zones, March 1992, p. 14, http://repository.forcedmigration.org/
pdf/?pid=fmo:850
, (24 May, 2016).

24 Witness Branko Culic (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial, case
IT-04-75-T, 7.3.2013, English transcript, p. 3427),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/130307ED.htm, (25 June, 2016).

25 Video testimony by Mirko Kovacic at the Third Regional Forum on Mechanisms for establishing the facts about war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, on 11-12 February 2008 in Belgrade, organised by RECOM, http://www.recom.link/mirko-kovacic, (23 June, 2016).

26 Video testimony by Mirko Kovacic at the Third Regional Forum on Mechanisms for establishing the facts about war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, on 11-12 February 2008 in Belgrade, organised by RECOM, http://www.recom.link/mirko-kovacic, (23 June, 2016).

27 Witness Branko Culic (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial in The Hague, case IT-04-75-T, 7 March 2013, translation of testimony, page 3441),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/130307ED.htm, (25 June, 2016).

28 Video testimony by Mirko Kovacic at the Third Regional Forum on Mechanisms for establishing the facts about war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, on 11-12 February 2008 in Belgrade, organised by RECOM, http://www.recom.link/mirko-kovacic, (23 June, 2016).

 

 

 

29 Prof. Danijel Rehak (ed.), Through the Roads of Hell into the 21st Century (Zagreb, 2000).

30 Amnesty International, YUGOSLAVIA Further reports of torture and deliberate and arbitrary killings in war zones, March 1992, p. 14, http://repository.forcedmigration.org/
pdf/?pid=fmo:850
, (24 May, 2016).

 

 

 

31 Witness Sulejman Tihic, (International Criminal Tribunal
for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Slobodan Milosevic trial in
The Hague, case IT-02-54, 2 December 2003, Serbian
transcript, p. 92), http://www.hlc-rdc.org/Transkripti/
Milosevic/Transkripti/Transkripti%20sa%20sudjenja
%20Slobodanu%20Milosevicu%20(44)/Transkript%20sa
%20sudjenja%20Slobodanu%20Milosevicu%20-%202.
%20decembar%202003..pdf
, (26 June, 2016).

 

 

 

32 Witness Sandor Zeljko (International Criminal Tribunal
for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial, case
IT-04-75-T, 7 December 2012, English transcript, page 2255),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/121207ED.htm, (25 June, 2016).

33 Witness Sulejman Tihic (International Criminal Tribunal
for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), at the Jovica Stanisic and
Franko Simatovic trial in The Hague, case IT-03-69-T, 3
February 2010, page 3123),
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/stanisicsimatovic/trans/en/
100203ED.htm
, (24, June 2016).

 

 

 

34 Witness Sandor Zeljko (International Criminal Tribunal
for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial in The
Hague, case IT-04-75-T, 7 December 2012, English transcript,
pages 2256–2258), http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/
en/ 121207ED.htm, (25, June 2016).

35 Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor of the Republic of Serbia, case KTRZ-1/09, (5 March, 2013).

 

 

 

36 Witness Sandor Zeljko (International Criminal Tribunal for
the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial in The
Hague, case IT-04-75-T, 7 December 2012, English transcript,
page 2258), http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/en/
121207ED.htm
, (25 June, 2016).

37 Ibid.

38 Witness Sandor Zeljko (International Criminal Tribunal for
the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial in The
Hague, case IT-04-75-T, 7 December 2012, English transcript,
page 2261-2262), http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/
en/121207ED.htm
, (25 June, 2016).

39 Witness Sulejman Tihic, (International Criminal Tribunal
for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Slobodan Milosevic trial in
The Hague, case IT-02-54, 12 February 2003, Serbian
transcript, p. 85), http://www.hlc-rdc.org/Transkripti/
Milosevic/Transkripti/ Transkripti%20sa%20sudjenja
%20Slobodanu%20Milosevicu%20(44)/Transkript%20sa
%20sudjenja%20Slobodanu%20Milosevicu%20-%202.
%20decembar%202003..pdf
, (26 June, 2016).

 

 

 

40 “Report on War Crimes Trials in Serbia in 2014 and 2015
by the Humanitarian Law Centre, Case: Sremska Mitrovica”,
p. 143-146, http://www.hlc-rdc.org/wpcontent/uploads/
2016/03/ Izvestaj_o_sudjenjima_za_ratne_zlocine_u_
Srbiji_tokom_2014._i_2015._godine.pdf
, (28 June, 2016).

 

 

 

41 Witness Branko Culic (International Criminal Tribunal for
the former Yugoslavia, ICTY), Goran Hadzic trial in The
Hague, case IT-04-75-T, 7 March 2013, English transcript,
p. 3458-3468), http://www.icty.org/x/cases/hadzic/trans/
en/130307ED.htm
, (25 June, 2016).

 

 

 

42 Barbara Matejcic and Zoran Kosanovic, from Zagreb,
Varazdin, Osijek, Nis and Belgrade, Balkan Investigative
Reporting Network's (BIRN) research with support from
the Danish network for investigative journalism SCOOP,
http://i-scoop.org/fileadmin/download_files/nis-bhs-
verzija.original.pdf
, (23 June, 2016).

43 Barbara Matejcic and Zoran Kosanovic, from Zagreb,
Varazdin, Osijek, Nis and Belgrade, Balkan Investigative
Reporting Network's (BIRN) research with support from
the Danish network for investigative journalism SCOOP,
http://i-scoop.org/fileadmin/download_files/nis-bhs-
verzija.original.pdf
, (23 June, 2016).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

l a t e s t   . . .

. . .   l a t e s t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the assistance of the Federal Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of the FR of Germany

 

 

 

 

 

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