Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

COURTSIDE: Keraterm Camp Trial

Member of "worst" guard shift at Keraterm camp goes on trial.
By Mirko Klarin

After surrendering voluntarily to tribunal representatives in Banja Luka, Dusan Fustar last week pleaded not guilty to crimes he allegedly committed in the Keraterm camp, near Prijedor, north-west Bosnia, in the summer of 1992.

Fustar, who gave himself up two weeks ago, commanded a guard shift at the camp which former detainees who testified in earlier trials for crimes in Prijedor most often described as the worst. He is accused of persecution on political, racial and religious grounds as well as of murders, inhuman acts and cruel treatment.

The indictment for the crimes at Keraterm was issued in July 1995. Of

eight accused, three are in custody and four have been convicted. Dragan Kolundzija, Damir Dosen, Dusko Sikirica and Zoran Zigic were sentenced to three, five, 15 25 years' imprisonment respectively.

At the end of last year, the Serbian authorities arrested and handed over the twins Predrag and Nenad Banovic, who were described by former camp inmates as among the worst guards.

According to the same testimonies, only Dusko Knezevic, known as Duca, the only indictee still at large, can be compared with them in terms of cruelty.

If he were to soon join Fustar and the Banovic brothers, all four would be tried jointly, on condition that they did not change their mind and, like Kolundzija, Dosen and Sikirica, admit their guilt in return for a lenient sentence.

The crimes at Keraterm, which will be cited in the prosecution of Brdjanin and Talic, were raised in the trials of Tadic, Zigic and Sikirica & Other cases. They were also mentioned in the indictments against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, Momcilo Krajisnik and Biljana Plavsic, as well as those charging Slobodan Milosevic with genocide in Bosnia.

Mirko Klarin is IWPR senior editor for the war crimes tribunal and editor-in-chief of SENSE News Agency.

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