War crimes trial opened in Belgrade

The indictee Samir Hondo was member of the Army of Republik of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 when prison camp was formed near Konjic

War crimes trial opened in Belgrade

World Bulletin/News Desk

The trial against Samir Hondo, Bosnian citizen who was a guard in prison camp Celebici, near Konjic, Herzegovina, was initiated on Wednesday before the special court for war crimes in Belgrade.

According to the indictment, Hondo was a guard in a prison camp controlled by the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in May 1992.

The Celebici camp operated from May to December 1992 , and was used to detain several hundreds Bosnian Serb prisoners. Prisoners were kept against their will, tortured, exposed to sexual violence and inhuman treatment,  and some of them died or were killed in captivity.

The International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced three persons for crimes in this prison camp – Zdravko Music, an ethnic Croat, was sentenced as a prison commander to 9 years; Hazim Delic (Bosniak) was sentenced to 18 years in prison as deputy commander who was found guilty for murder and torture, and Esad Landzo (Bosniak), was guard in Celebici and found guilty of murder and sentenced to 15 years.

Hondo, allegedly  used to beat up prisoners while they were walking in and out of the hangar where they were imprisoned.

He was arrested in March this year during his visit to Serbia.

Hondo claims the entire case is based on the testimony of the person who asked him for money this year.

"He came to my family house and tried to make me give him some money because I was the guard. I am not hiding that I was guard indeed  but I have never done anything to anybody," Hondo said in the courtroom.

His defense is based on claims he was not in Celebici in may 1992, the time mentioned in his indictment.

Hondo's defense lawyer Slavisa Prodanovic told the media the entire case is based on one witness testimony whose credibility was questioned by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in some of the previous trials related to prison camp Celebici.

The trial will continue in October this year when the first witnesses will be called in.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Eylül 2013, 21:39