Vlado Vasiljevic, who worked at the farm in the “Butmir” Penal and Correctional Facility in Kula, tells the Court that detained Bosniaks used to come there to perform labour “after having contacted” indictee Radoje Lalovic.
Vasiljevic testified as a joint witness of the Defence of Lalovic and Soniboj Skiljevic.
“At the beginning of May 1992 Radoje Lalovic arrived at the farm. We contacted him in relation to detainees’ work. The detainees would come there to perform labour even before Lalovic’s arrival, as per orders given by Radovan Novakovic, who was appointed by the Crisis Committee of Kasindol Municipality,” Vasiljevic said.
The witness said that in April 1992 detainees used to come to work escorted by soldiers or policemen. “When the Penal and Correctional Facility started functioning again, some time in June 1992”, they would be accompanied by guards.
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina charges Lalovic and Skiljevic with events in “Butmir” Penal and Correctional Facility in Kula, where men, women and children were detained, held in inhumane conditions and taken to other locations to perform labour.
The indictment alleges that Lalovic was the Facility Manager and Skiljevic was his Deputy until the end of 1992. Skiljevic performed the function of Facility Manager from December 1992 to the end of 1995.
Vasiljevic, who still works at the Kula Penal and Correctional Facility, said that he “used to bring bread” to the Facility for a certain period of time, adding that detainees had the same food as the Facility staff.
“In the beginning Novakovic told me to transport bread. Later on I did that in agreement with Mladjo Prstojevic, the kitchen chief. I think I used to bring about 160 loafs of bread, maybe even more than that. In the beginning we cooked food for those of us at the farm. I would give detainees some of the food to take with them,” Vasiljevic said.
The witness said that “medical technician Boro Trapara” was in Kula, adding that he provided detainees with medication, he gave them shots or referred them to Kasindol hospital for treatment.
The witness said that indictee Soniboj Skiljevic arrived at the farm at some stage, but he did not say when, and then sold eggs produced at the farm in Ilidza.
The second Defence witness, Nazif Sarajkic, was among 46 neighbours from Gornji Kotorac village, in the vicinity of Kula, who were detained in the Facility on May 12, 1992.
“They searched us and took our documents, money and other belongings. They detained us in two rooms. Nobody did any harm to me. We had two meals per day – in the morning and in the early evening. We would get some potatoes, beans.” Sarajkic said, adding that the 47 of them were detained in Kula for ten days.
The witness says he “did not hear” about indictee Lalovic, adding he would “never forget” how Skiljevic helped his son come home after having spent ten
days in Kula.
Latif Hadzalic, a former staff member at the Kula Facility, who appeared as the third Defence witness at this hearing, said that he left Kotorac village on May 16, 1992, when he went to work at the Central Prison in Sarajevo. He explained that this was his “wartime task”.
Prior to leaving Kotorac, the witness said he was “arrested and taken to an informative conversation” with Luka Majstorovic, who, he thought, was an inspector. Hadzalic said he confirmed he possessed weapons, for which he had a license. He thought the conversation was conducted in a correct manner.
The trial is due to continue on November 5.