Thursday, October 11, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 11,2007) – The Bosnian State Prosecutor's witness Anto Tomic has testified yesterday, via video link, from Germany, where he has been living after leaving Ljubija in Prijedor municipality during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia in the early 1990's.

Tomic has told the Bosnian State Court how the detained Bosnian and Croatian civilians in Omarska and Keraterm concentration camps were tortured by the genocidal Serbian aggressor, but he has also spoken about the participation of the four Serbian war criminals Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo "Ckalja" Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko "Duca" Knezevic in daily maltreatment of detainees during 1992.

"Duca visited Keraterm frequently," said the witness. "The first time I saw him was when I arrived at the concentration camp. He and one more guard entered room number two and he said: 'Today I shall not beat the ones standing in front, but those standing in the back'.

"Then they went to room number three and also took between 15 and 20 people out. We heard screams and moans, and, later on, we saw some beaten detainees covered with blood and bruises," said Tomic, who was brought to Keraterm by the Serbian aggressor, together with 12 men from Ljubija, on 14 June 1992.

The Bosnian state Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo "Ckalja" Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko "Duca" Knezevic, with having participated in rape, murder, beating and torture of Bosnian and Croatian civilians detained by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in Omarska and Keraterm concentration camps.

"Duca was about 35 years old, his height was between 175 and 180 cm. He was a big and strong man. He was dressed in a gray-olive military uniform," Tomic claims.

The indictment alleges that Serbian war criminal Knezevic occasionally visited Keraterm and took part in the beating and maltreatment of detained Bosnian and Croatian civilians.

Witness Tomic has recalled that Serbian war criminals Dusko "Duca" Knezevic and Zoran Zigic beat up Croatian civilian Drago Tokmadzic, who later died from injuries caused by the beating.

"One night Duca, Zigic and a few more guards called Tokmadzic, Esad Islamovic and some other detainees out. Duca and Zigic gave orders to the others, and we could hear them beating these people. And it sounded painful. I have never seen Tokmadzic again," Tomic has said.

In February 2005 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Serbian war criminal Zoran Zigic, known as Ziga, to 25 years imprisonment for crimes committed in these concentration camps.

Tomic has pointed out that Zigic was a guard in Keraterm concentration camp, but he also spent some time detained in room number four "for having released a detainee".

"I remember when we were transferred to room four that we saw his canvas and some other staff. Later on we were told that he was detained in that room for having released one person from the concentration camp," Tomic said.

Tomic claims that Jovo Radocaj was also detained in Keraterm concentration camp, because he "allegedly voted for the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) at the elections".

"I think he was the only Serbian in the camp who was killed for, allegedly, having voted for SDA and Alija Izetbegovic. From a distance I saw his body on a trolley near room four," Tomic claims.

The witness has not been able to confirm the allegations contained in the indictment that Serbian war criminal Dusan Fustar was one of the three guard commanders. The witness has, however, pointed out that Fustar did "have a function".

The witness claims to have been brought, together with 115 detainees, to Omarska concentration camp on 4 July 1992. He allegedly stayed there until 6 August that year. He claims to have seen "detention camp commander" Serbian war criminal Mejakic during his stay.

The indictment alleges that, from 24 May to 30 August 1992, Serbian war criminal Zeljko Mejakic was commander of Omarska concentration camp, in which 3,000 Bosnian and Croatian civilians were detained by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

Answering defence attorney Dragan Ivetic's questions during cross-examination, the witness has pointed out that a water tank used to come to Keraterm detention camp every day to supply the prisoners with water. He has also said that the detainees were allowed to walk freely within the camp and that some were taken to a hospital to get medical assistance.

Omarska concentration camp was closed at the end of August 1992, following a visit by foreign journalists. Some prisoners were then transferred by the genocidal Serbian aggressor to Manjaca concentration camp, while others were sent to Trnopolje concentration camp. On 6 August Tomic was transferred to Trnoplje concentration camp, which he left on 17 August 1992.

The trial of Serbian war criminals Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic before the Bosnian State Court is due to continue today, when the Bosnian State Prosecutor shall start presenting material evidence.

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