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Bosnia Arrests Seven For Mass Killings

Bosnia's State Investigation and Protection Agency arrested seven individuals in the Zvornik area on Friday, suspected of participating in the mass killing of 800 Bosniaks after the fall of the UN-declared 'safe zone' in 1995.

The Grbavci school, a former killing site, in Orahovac. Photo. ICTY.

By Enes Hodzic

The State Investigation and Protection Agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina, SIPA, arrested seven people on Friday suspected of committing or participating in the 1995 genocide in eastern Bosnia. 

According to SIPA, they are suspected of committing criminal acts under individual and command responsibility, as well as aiding genocide.

SIPA said the arrested individuals will be handed over to the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina after criminal processing. It mentioned that they are all former commanders and members of the Zvornik Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska, VRS.

“The suspects are linked to the shooting and killing of around 800 victims of Bosniak nationality at the Orahovac site, following the fall of the Protected Zone of Srebrenica,” the State Prosecutor’s Office added. 

Previous court rulings have determined that before the killings in Orahovac, Bosniaks were held captive in the school hall of Grbavci in this locality.

Over 7,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed in a series of massacres by Bosnian Serb forces led by Ratko Mladic after they overran the UN-declared “safe zone’” of Srebrenica in July 1995. The killings have been legally classified as genocide by international court rulings.

Together with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the courts in Serbia and Croatia, 54 individuals have been sentenced to five life imprisonments and 781 years in prison for genocide, crimes against humanity, and other crimes in Srebrenica during July 1995.

Currently, a trial for genocide in Srebrenica is ongoing at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it is in a state of suspension due to the health condition of the accused, Mile Kosoric, former commander of the Vlasenica Brigade of the VRS.

In early December, the State Prosecutor’s Office filed charges for genocide against Ratko Vujovic, Ljubomir Vlacic, Vitomir Pepic, Milovan Ognjenovic, Goran Viskovic, Zeljko Dupljanin, and Vlastimir Golijanin, all former commanders and members of the VRS, for the murder of 65 individuals in July 1995 in the areas of Sekovici and Vlasenica in eastern Bosnia.

Copyright BIRN 2015

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