War Crimes Victim Tells Tale Of Gruesome Torture

THE HAGUE -- A key prosecution witness has told a UN war crimes trial in The Hague that he never saw an accused Serb at a camp where a Moslem prisoner was forced to bite off another's testicle.


The alleged incident at the Serb-run Omarska prison camp is one of the grisliest crimes for which Bosnian Serb Dusan Tadic, a former bar owner and karate teacher, stands accused.


Witness H, a 28-year-old Moslem with three young sons, told the court in closed session last Wednesday that he had never seen Tadic at the camp the Prijedor region of northwest Bosnia.


The tribunal on Tuesday released a transcript of 'H's testimony, which dealt with a gruesome incident when one Moslem prisoner was forced to bite off another inmate's testicle.


H, who said he had been taught karate by Tadic before the war, said he and another inmate, identified as G, were ordered to lie in a ditch at the camp and drink the oily water there. A third prisoner, Fikret Harambasic, was then ordered to jump naked into the ditch.


"Were you ordered to lick his arse?" asked prosecutor Michael Keegan. "Yes," H replied.


"Was G ordered to suck his (Harambasic's) penis?" "Yes."


"Was the next order for G to bite his testicles?" "Yes."


H said the Serbs were yelling: "Bite, harder, harder" as G bit off one of Harambasic's testicles.


Last Wednesday, another Moslem survivor of Omarska told the court that he had seen Tadic among a group of around 10 Serbs present during the brutal sexual mutilation.


UN prosecutors at the Hague-based criminal tribunal for former Yugoslavia accuse Tadic, 40, of murdering, torturing and raping Moslems during a Serb campaign of "ethnic cleansing" in northwest Bosnia in 1992.


Tadic, also known as "Dusko" and "Dule," denies the charges.


An elderly Moslem, who survived three Serb-run camps, told the court on Tuesday that he was twice beaten by Tadic and his son was killed at Omarska.


Hakija Elezovic told the three-judge panel that he was savagely karate-kicked by Tadic during interrogation at Keraterm camp and then again, just days later, at Omarska.


He said he was taken to the White House, a small Omarska outbuilding that Serbs allegedly used to torture inmates. When he got there, he saw Tadic among a group of Serb guards beating prisoners, including his son Salih.


Elezovic, who identified Tadic in court, said that as Tadic kicked him he heard his son cry out. "Dule then went after my son with a pistol."


The father was then hit on the back of the head and fell unconscious. When he awoke over an hour later, he saw his son's body among many others being loaded on to a truck, he said.