Bosnian Army Soldier ‘Beat Prisoners With Table Leg’

A witness said that he saw Nedzad Hodzic, one of two Bosniak ex-servicemen on trial for wartime abuse of prisoners on Mount Igman, beating other detainees with a table leg.

Prosecution witness Slobodan Krstic, who testified from Australia via video link on Wednesday, said that during the war he was imprisoned by Bosniak forces in the Silos detention camp, a military barracks in Krupa and on Mount Igman, spending three years and eight months in captivity in total.

Krstic said that he was taken to Hotel Igman in December 1992, then moved to a grain store at Hotel Mraziste on Mount Igman, where he saw Hodzic.

“The first time, Hodzic came and made prisoner Miladin Borovic beat us. Hodzic has never beaten me personally,” Krstic said.

He said that Hodzic beat other prisoners with a table leg. “He came and hit [them] one by one,” Krstic recalled.

Hodzic is on trial for prisoner abuse alongside Dzevad Salcin, also known as ‘Struja’. Both of them are former members of the Bosnian Army’s Zulfikar Brigade.

Krstic said that he heard from another prisoner called Dragan Vukovic that Hodzic among group that beat prisoner Jadranko Glavas. “Me and my cousin Radivoje were the last ones who saw Glavas alive. He was unconscious and his face was bloated and his back was black,” he said.

He added that he found out that a soldier called ‘Struja’ cut off Dragan Vukovic’s ear.

Krstic said that the prisoners were transferred to the Silos detention camp during the fall of Igman to Serb forces and that ‘Struja’ told him that he wouldn’t remain alive.

“Thanks to the others we did stay alive, because we went on a truck and they stayed around us. Salcin then came back and shot after us and cursed us and the guards,” the witness said.

During the cross-examination, Salcin’s defence asked the witness why he did not mention the defendant’s surname in his statement to the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency, or that he fired shots.

The witness said that he “did not know who was typing the statement” and that he “cannot remember everything”.

Salcin’s defence noted that Krstic said in his statement to the Bosnian embassy in Australia last year that ‘Struja’ pointed at the group of four prisoners, including the witness, and that “he ran after the truck saying that he wanted to kill them”.

Krstic said however that he did not make such a statement.

The trial resumes on May 22.

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