A MUSLIM witness in a war crimes trial pulled opened his shirt in court to prove Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic wrong.
Ahmet Zulic told the court he was arrested and thrown in prison as part of a Serb clampdown on his village, in northwestern Bosnia, in June 1992.
He said that he was still haunted by nightmares of fellow Muslim prisoners dying beside him.
Mr Karadzic, who is defending himself against charges of genocide, accused Mr Zulic of lying, upon which Mr Zulic pulled open his shirt and pointed to his chest.
“Right here I have a cross carved in my skin. You can see the cross carved on my chest,” he said.
Mr Karadzic’s trial at the Hague had resumed today after a six-week delay.
Mr Zulic, 62, told the court he was held by Serb forces at two detention camps for five months, during which time he said he was severely beaten, starved and forced to witness the executions of fellow detainees.
He lost 35kg in weight.
Answering Mr Karadzic with his eyes downcast, Mr Zulic told the court he had suffered permanent disabilities from having had seven vertebrae damaged, all his ribs fractured and a finger broken during the abuse.
He also has false teeth, having had his own knocked out when Serb soldiers put a gun in his mouth at a prisoner execution scene.
“I have nightmares very often,” the witness told the court.
“I very frequently dream of people who were killed beside me or were dying beside me. I had one last night.”
Mr Karadzic, 64, faces 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide charges arising from Bosnia’s 1992-95 war in which 100,000 people were killed and 2.2 million left homeless.
He is charged as the supreme commander of a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims and Croats.
The prosecution’s second witness, Sulejman Crncalo, wept as he told the court that his wife was killed in the shelling of the Markale market in Sarajevo in August 1995.
Searching for his wife, Crncalo stumbled upon the scene of the bombardment.
“There was blood al over the place, flowing in the streets, bits of human flesh scattered around, bits of clothing torn and scattered all over,” he told the judges, occasionally wiping his eyes with a handkerchief.
A fence around the market, he said, “looked like it was painted red from the blood.”
He later found his wife’s body at a local morgue. “There was a woman lying next to my wife and her arm was thrown across my wife’s body. I just cried.”
Crncalo also testified that he was present when Karadzic made a speech in Pale, southeast of Sarajevo, in June 1992.
“Those were terrible words to our ears. He was saying to those present that every Muslim house had to be attacked because that’s the way to defend Serb houses.”
Karadzic started his cross-examination by telling the witness: “I would like to express my condolences for your loss”.