DAYS WHICH SURVIVORS WANT TO FORGET
Protected prosecution witness describes what he lived through in the ten days he spent in the captivity of Mujahideen in the second half of September 1995. “I’ve tried to forget’ those times of ‘delirium’ for a long time
Rasim Delic in the courtroom
A protected witness testifying for the prosecution at the trial of General Rasim Delic is a former VRS soldier. In September 1995, he and his ten fellow fighters surrendered to the BH Army on Mount Ozren. After they were taken captive, they were transferred to the Mujahideen camp where they were detained for about ten days. After that, they were handed over to the BH Army military police that took them to Zenica.
The prosecution tendered into evidence the statement given by the witness to the OTP in 2000 in Banja Luka, and then asked him some questions about a video clip from the Mujahideen camp shown previously. This part of the hearing went on in closed session as this witness was granted protective measures. He testified under a pseudonym and with image distortion.
In his cross-examination, the witness said that the days of his captivity in the Mujahideen camp passed in total ‘delirium’. He described how they were detained in a room of a half-derelict house. They were left lying there for a few days, bound hand and foot with wire. ‘Our ribs were broken, we were barefoot and covered in blood’ the witness said. The Mujahideen later let them go out but they would have to keep their heads down. This is why he couldn’t see much, he explained.
There were three or four other prisoners from the VRS Ozren unit in the room when the witness and his fellow fighters were brought in, he said. They looked totally dazed, he described. One of them told him that the Mujahideen would take out prisoners and then they ‘massacre and kill them’. Although he confirmed that he never saw any killings, the witness believes those four prisoners met that fate.
On the first floor of the same house, the witness saw about ‘ten other prisoners’. Although he doesn’t know who they were and what happened to them, he supposes that they were taken out and executed near the house in which they were held captive.
The witness was handed over to the BH Army military police in late September 1995 together with the rest of the prisoners from the camp. They were transferred to the prison in Zenica and were then exchanged after a time. When he meets some of these men in the street, they don’t speak about the time they spent in Mujahideen captivity. As he said, he wished he could forget about that part of his life.
The trial continues tomorrow with the evidence of another prosecution witness.