Foca Prison Trial

Court tries to establish fate of "missing" inmates

Foca Prison Trial

Court tries to establish fate of "missing" inmates

Saturday, 24 March, 2012

Prosecutors last week presented statistics on missing people in Bosnia to corroborate allegations by former Foca prison detainees that fellow inmates were murdered or "disappeared".

Bosnian State Commission president Amor Masovic told the court that around 300 missing people had last been seen in Foca prison.

Former inmates said that during 1992 several groups of detainees were taken away for alleged prisoner exchanges or to work as forced labour. Most of them were never seen again.

Masovic said that nine years on, those still missing "are clearly dead".

Of 375 Bosniaks exhumed and identified by the commission in the Foca area, only two were definitely sighted for the last time in Foca prison - Halid Konjo and Murat Crneta.

Masovic said the bodies of the other 300 or so missing inmates have not been found.

He said that of that number, 266 were with a considerable degree of certainty last seen in the prison. At least 35 others are thought to have been taken from the prison, but this cannot be confirmed by more than one source.

Among 375 Bosniak victims identified thus far in the Foca area, a high percentage are women, as many as 40 per cent, Masovic said, adding that elsewhere in Bosnia the corresponding figure is around 12 per cent.

Masovic told the court 23,000 people of various nationalities are still considered "missing". In addition, there are some 4,000 bodies lying unidentified in morgues throughout the country.

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