Nedeljko Radic, a Serb from the village of Milici in Srebrenica area, described his encounters with Naser Oric in the Srebrenica SUP building where he had been detained and abused in the fall of 1992

Nedeljko Radic, witness in the Oric trialNedeljko Radic, witness in the Oric trial

The prosecutor contends that Naser Oric, former commander of the BH Army forces in the Srebrenica area, knew that the troops under his command were “abusing and beating to death” prisoners at the Srebrenica SUP building, yet failed to do anything to prevent or punish them for it.

Through the testimony of Nedeljko Radic the prosecution is trying to prove that Oric did have the opportunity to see for himself how the prisoners were treated in September 1992. The witness had been captured after an attack on the bauxite mine where he had been working. He was subsequently detained in a cell in the Srebrenica SUP building.

Radic testified that four other Serb civilians had been detained in a 3 to 4 square meter room. They were beaten on an almost daily basis on their trips to the toilet in the corridors by whoever happened to be there. But the most severe beating happened at night, when they were taken to the room next door one by one. In that room, as Radic recounted, there were two strong lads by the name of Kemo and Mrki.

They mostly kicked and punched them, but they would also use logs stacked next to a large stove. Radic’s teeth were knocked out by such a blow the very first night. The next night “Kemo extracted with pliers what was left of his teeth and then disinfected it all with urine”, the witness said.

Radic was able to confirm that another one of the five detainees in the cell, who was called Kukic, had also been beaten with a log. He claims to have seen Kukic die after Kemo hit him over the chest with a log several times for having “cursed his Ustasha mother.” Kukic’s dead body was returned to the cell, and the next morning, when Kemo asked them ”what happened to him”, the detainees responded, “heart attack”. Radic explained that they were afraid that they would have shared his fate had they told the truth.

They gave the same reply to Naser Oric who visited them soon after this incident to ask “whether anyone was beating or maltreating them.” Again, they did not dare tell the truth. Radic claims to have seen Oric two more times in the SUP building. He always wore “an American camouflage uniform with the fleur-de-lis emblem”, described the witness. He was subsequently exchanged.

On a video tape of the police station in Srebrenica shown to him by prosecutor Patricia Sellers, Radic was able to identify the rooms on the first floor where he had been detained and beaten. He also confirmed the authenticity of a drawing of that area made on his instructions in May 2000 when he gave a statement to the OTP investigators about his experiences at the Srebrenica SUP (Secretariat of Internal Affairs).

Radic’s testimony will continue tomorrow.