Omarska Camp Trial

Defence lawyers have taken less than three days - a tribunal record - to present their case on behalf of Milojica Kos, accused of crimes as a guard shift commander at the Omarska detention camp in north-west Bosnia in 1992.

Omarska Camp Trial

Defence lawyers have taken less than three days - a tribunal record - to present their case on behalf of Milojica Kos, accused of crimes as a guard shift commander at the Omarska detention camp in north-west Bosnia in 1992.

Wednesday, 14 February, 2001

The defence submitted three documents - Kos's graduation certificate from catering college, his graduation certificate from police training college and his draft papers for the police reserve dated May 1992 - and summoned four witnesses.


The defence argued their client had been drafted in May 1992 like "so many other ordinary people" and that, against his will, he was appointed reserve police officer at Omarska, without any authority over other guards at the camp.


Earlier in the trial, prosecution witnesses claimed Kos was one of three shift commanders at Omarska. Although the witnesses said there was less abuse during Kos's shift, many claimed they saw him present during killings and beatings and that he did nothing to stop those crimes.


Kos's sister, Nada Curcic, and two of his colleagues from a police course he attended after his time at Omarska in 1993, described the accused as a "quiet, calm and shy man", who enjoyed his job as a waiter. The witnesses said Kos had found himself a policeman at the camp due to circumstances beyond his control.


The witnesses claimed Kos did not like to talk about what he did at Omarska or what was happening there, hence they had never asked about that.


One of the instructors from the 1993 police course, where Kos had trained as a "junior policeman", described the accused as an "ordinary person, who did not distinguish himself in anything". The instructor said he never talked to Kos about his work at Omarska or what was happening there.


The judges asked the instructor, police inspector Zelimir Skrbic, why he had not spoken to Kos about the camp when such experience "could be useful to the education of young policemen, so that the crimes committed in the camps are not repeated."


Skrbic, who presented to the court the United States and Swedish policing diplomas he received after the signing of the Dayton Agreement, said, "there could be no mention of camps, since this would be counter to the Geneva Convention which ban any camps."


Skrbic failed to explain how Omarska and the other camps came into being in face of the clear prohibitions listed in the Geneva Convention.


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