The State Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment against six former guards in “Trnopolje”, “Keraterm” and “Omarska”, among whom is the deputy warden of one of the war camps, charging them with crimes against humanity in the area of Prijedor, and among them there are two people previously identified by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network ofBosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH) in its research.
The indictment was filed against Slavko Puhalic, Zeljko Rudak with nickname Deba, Dragan Skrbic, Dragoja Cavic, Rajko Damjanovic and Dragomir Saponja.
According to the statement of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, six of them are accused of participating, during a wide and systematic attack directed at the civilian population of Bosniak and Croat nationality in the area of Prijedor and its surroundings – namely Puhalic as an coroner and deputy warden of the “Trnopolje” camp and a superior person for all guard shifts, and the rest in the status of guards in the camps – in the execution of a joint criminal enterprise, carried out persecution on a discriminatory basis, based on national, political and religious affiliation.
The indictment states that in the Prijedor camps “Trnopolje”, “Keraterm” and “Omarska”, formed in 1992 by the Prijedor Crisis Staff and other civil and military authorities, civilians – men, women, children and elderly persons (of Bosniak and Croatian nationality) – were illegally imprisoned, more than 30 thousand of them.
BIRN BiH previously published research in which the Hague verdicts for crimes committed in the area of Prijedor were analyzed, as well as the documents used during the court proceedings, and it is stated in the verdicts that “Trnopolje” was managed by Slobodan Kuruzovic, commander of the Territorial Defense Staff, and that Slavko Puhalic helped for a while.
Journalists could not get in touch with Puhalic at the time, but he previously, as a Defense witness at the trial of Radovan Karadzic, stated that at first there were individual cases of abuse in “Trnopolje”, before military security was introduced there. Karadzic was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes in the area of Prijedor.
The prosecutor’s office announced that it will prove the allegations of the indictment by calling 180 witnesses, 21 of whom have been assigned protective measures, three expert witnesses and submitting more than 900 pieces of evidence, Detektor reports.