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SERBIA THAT PROTECTS WAR CRIMINALS MUST NOT TAKE A SINGLE STEP FORWARD

March 22, 2007 1 comment

“Until it resolves (its own) war crimes and until it stops treating them as heroes, Serbia does not have the intelligence to enter the EU… a Serbia that protects war criminals must not take a single step forward.” - Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor

Carla Del Ponte in a conversation for the Slovenian Ljubljana Dnevnik expressed that she was against giving in to Serbia in its integration process.

Carla Del Ponte - Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor“Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic are the most responsible for the crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia… Restarting negotiations (with Serbia) would be a very poor message for Belgrade. Without the arrest of Karadzic and Mladic, without total cooperation with the Court, it would be the wrong idea” said Chief UN War Crimes Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte in the conversation.

“Until it resolves (its own) war crimes and until it stops treating them as heroes, Serbia does not have the intelligence to enter the EU. They do not have the manners to enter the EU” – said Carla Del Ponte.

She added that she was very critical of the thoughts of the Slovenian minister of foreign affairs, Dimitri Rupel, that they should not make too strict criteria for Serbia because it is a country important for stability in the west Balkans.

“When I heard your minister talk about restarting the negotiations with Serbia, I was shocked. He knows that is sending false messages. Of course we all want Serbia to enter Europe. Good. However a Serbia that protects war criminals must not take a single step forward. We can not accept that, I think that neither can your minister”, said Del Ponte.

She added that she does not even want to think about what will happen if Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic are not arrested by the end of the current open proceedings in the Court.

“Mladic and Karadzic need to be arrested this year, if possible before September, whilst I am still here. What if that does not happen? The decision will have to be made by the UN Security Council.

If the arrest happens before the Court closes its doors, they will have to extend its mandate.

If they are not arrested by 2011, when the appeal proceedings will be closed – and I do not even want to think about that – in that case the UN Security Council would have to make a decision that somebody should give them a trial”, said Del Ponte.

CARLA DEL PONTE SLAMS MUTED RESPONSE

March 16, 2007 Comments off

UN CHIEF PROSECUTOR SLAMS GENOCIDE RULING RESPONSE

The Chief United Nations War Crimes prosecutor slammed Europe’s “muted” response to a landmark ICJ ruling.

Carla del Ponte, Chief UN War Crimes ProsecutorCarla Del Ponte said the response to the judgment, that found Serbia failed to prevent genocide at Srebrenica, “could undermine the fight for international justice,” The Associated Press reported.

Carla Del Ponte cited the ruling finding Serbia could have prevented the massacre of Bosniaks in Srebrenica and that it should have punished its perpetrators.

The ICJ court (International Court of Justice) also faulted Serbia for failing to turn over one of the architects of the massacre, General Ratko Mladic and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

But the ruling absolved Serbia of direct responsibility for genocide due to lack of evidence.

Srebrenica Massacre, Genocide of over 8,000 Bosniaks. July 11, 1995.“The response of the international community, and especially the presidency of the European Union, to this ruling appears to be quite muted,” Del Ponte said in statement.

Del Ponte said that EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana issued a statement after the February 26 ruling which “made no mention whatsoever of the fact that Serbia was found in violation of the Genocide Convention.

Instead, he applauded the fact that there is no collective punishment and that the highest tribunal in the world has closed that page.”

Del Ponte added that Germany – current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency – made a similar statement.

Srebrenica Massacre, Genocide of over 8,000 Bosniaks. July 11, 1995.Del Ponte repeatedly has accused Belgrade authorities of not doing enough to arrest Mladic, who is thought to be hiding out somewhere in Serbia. Karad¾iæ’s whereabouts are unknown.

Del Ponte said she was concerned that neither fugitive would be arrested and brought to justice before the court is scheduled to be dismantled in 2010.

“This is truly a potentially devastating development given the tribunal’s completion strategy,” Del Ponte said, adding that she was “worried that we will never see Mladic and Karadzic in our custody. That would have a devastating impact on international justice and on our battle against impunity.”

Srebrenica Massacre, Genocide of over 8,000 Bosniaks. July 11, 1995.The representatives of authority and political parties which were today in Srebrenica, think that the Municipality should have the status of a district, be excluded from Republika Srpska jurisdiction and put under BiH jurisdiction. The same as Brcko district, over which, no agreement as to whom it should belong, was reached while the Dayton Peace Accord was being signed.

At the meeting which was organised by Srebrenica Municipality head, Abdulrahman Malkic, present were members of BiH Presidency Haris Silajdzic and Zeljko Komsic, Beriz Belkic, BiH Parliament Speaker, Adil Osmanovic, Vice President of Republika Srpska, President of Democratic Action Party, Sulejman Tihic and Zlatko Lagumdzija, president of Social Democrat party, as well as ambassadors of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Libya, and representatives of international organisations.

The conclusions of the meeting were formulated in 12 points. A team was formed which will co-ordinate the conclusions and the demands of the Steering Committee.

To remind ourselves, the Steering Committee which was formed by returnees to Srebrenica, announced mass exodus on 14 of March, if Srebrenica is not excluded from Republika Srpska, following the judgement of ICJ. However, Collective emigration of Bosniaks from Srebrenica was postponed for April 16, the Initiative committee and co-ordination team for demanding special status of this municipality decided.

The Initiative committee expressed regret for non-appearance of European diplomats to the Srebrenica meeting, and condemned non-attendance of RS representatives as well as their threats directed to genocide victims.

Related readings:

1. Politics and Justice don’t mix

2. Perversed Judgment

3. ICJ Ruling, Bosnia vs Serbia, Dangerous Precedent

4. ICJ Rules Serbia Guilty of Not Preventing Genocide

MLADIC WILL NEVER BE CAPTURED

October 16, 2006 5 comments

SERBIA REFUSES TO CAPTURE GEN. RATKO MLADIC WHO COMMITTED GENOCIDE IN SREBRENICA

Editor’s note: Why would they arrest him? He is their role-model and hero. It will take long time for sick Serbian society to heal and stop protecting and celebrating genocidal war criminals such as Ratko Mladic (pic 1) and Radovan Karadzic (pic 2)

Ratko Mladic - War Criminal on the RunU.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said on Monday she saw no political will from Serbia to arrest Ratko Mladic or other major suspects, seen by the European Union as vital to closer ties with Belgrade.

“It’s almost a smokescreen they are describing us and showing us, it’s no real political will and investigative will to locate and arrest Mladic,” Del Ponte told reporters after briefing EU ministers and officials in Luxembourg.

The former Bosnian Serb military commander is wanted for trial by the Hague tribunal on genocide charges relating to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Radovan Karadzic - War Criminal on the RunThe EU suspended talks on a so-called Stabilisation and Association Agreement, the first step to eventual membership, in May to punish Belgrade for its failure to arrest Mladic.

“Most probably they want him to voluntarily surrender, to oblige him to voluntarily surrender, but I think Mladic will never voluntarily surrender,” Del Ponte said, speaking in English.

“They will never achieve to locate or arrest Mladic, and I think they have no political will to arrest Mladic.”

Del Ponte spoke as Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica met EU ministers and officials to discuss Serbia’s stalled ambitions to join the bloc. He made no comments on arrival.

The prosecutor said she hoped the EU would assist in securing the arrest of Mladic and other war crimes fugitives by standing by its decision to suspend talks with Serbia. She said she saw no sign of wavering by EU states on that decision.

Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana highlighted Serbia’s political and economic progress but said reopening of suspended talks on closer ties with the EU remained dependent on Belgrade’s cooperation with the U.N. tribunal.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said before taking part in the talks with Kostunica he understood Serbia’s cooperation with the Hague tribunal was “not satisfactory”.

“This is decisive for the question when and if we will be able to restart the negotiations on the association agreement,” he told reporters.

LIST OF SREBRENICA GENOCIDE SUSPECTS

August 31, 2006 5 comments

NAMES OF SREBRENICA MASSACRE PERPETRATORS WHO ARE STILL IN POSITION OF POWER

NOTE: Srebrenica Genocide Blog will keep updating the list as names continue to be released by Sarajevo-based Oslobodjenje Daily.

The Bosnian daily newspaper Oslobodjenje has started publishing a list of over 800 Bosnian Serbs who allegedly participated in the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995, and are still believed to be in positions of power.

These names are just a small part of a much bigger list of some 28,000 people who, according to the Republika Srpska [Serb Entity in Bosnia], RS, authorities, were directly or indirectly involved in the massacre. Out of 28,000 names that the full version of the report apparently contains, 892 are reported to be individuals still employed by governmental and municipal institutions.

Back in October 2004, the RS Srebrenica Commission, under pressure from the international community, released a report in which they acknowledged that Serbs had been responsible for killing thousands of Bosniak men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995.

First Part – 69 names, published on 08/24/06

Goran (Rajko) Abazović, Neško (Vladimir) Aćimović, Dušan (Drago) Aćimović, Milan (Vladimir) Aćimović, Zoran (Petko) Aćimović, Mile (Miladin) Aćimović, Siniša (Milan) Aleksić, Aleksa (Predrag) Aleksić, Draško (Božo) Aleksić, Milenko (Dragoljub) Aleksić, Brano (Dušan) Aleksić, Marko (Vladimir) Aleksić, Dragomir (Risto) Alempić, Rajko (Ljubinko) Alempić, Žarko (Vlajko) Andrić, Drago (Ljubo) Andrić, Mirjana (Stojan) Andrić, Nenad (Žarko) Andrić, Milan (Đorđo) Ašćerić, Radislav (Diko) Ašćerić, Dragomir (Božidar) Ašćerić, Vojslav (Ljubomir) Ašćerić, Mirko (Savo) Ašćerić, Dragan (Stevo) Ašćerić, Dragomir (Petar) Ašonja, Sveto (Rajko) Avramović, Miroslav (Jovo) Babić, Goran (Ilija) Bačić, Perica (Dragan) Bajević, Momir (Stojan) Bakmaz, Miroslav (Branko) Baljak, Novka (Petar) Banjac, Risto (Gojko) Barač, Ranko (Rajko) Baračanin, Dana (Branko) Bartula, Rade (Anđelko) Bašić, Miroslav (Mirko) Batovac, Ljubiša (Kosta) Bećarević, Siniša (Vladimir) Bećarević, Bogoljub (Bogdan) Begović, Goran (Cvijetin) Bencun, Milo (Božo) Bjelić, Marko (Risto) Blagojević, Ranko (Milivoje) Blagojević, Radenko (Neđo) Blagojević, Dušan (Slobodan) Blagojević, Gordana (Milan) Blažanović, Mila (Luka) Bodirogić, Milan (Anđelka) Bogdanović, Luka (Miladin) Bogdanović, Radovan (Mitar) Bojanić, Sredoje (Velizar) Bojić, Slobodan (Ljubo) Bojić, Milenko (Mijat) Borić, Radenko (Radosava) Borić, Darko (Vojislava) Borovčanin, Danko (Rade) Borovčanin, Radoslav (Milovan) Bošković, Todor (Boško) Bošković, Željko (Risto) Bošnjak, Obren (Dušan) Božić, Radoslav (Neđo) Božić, Kirilo (Mitar) Božić, čedo (Blagoje) Božić, Goran (Petar) Božičković, Borislav (Ratko) Božović, Stevo (Rado) Bunijevac, Boro (Marko) Bunjevac, Mile (Novo) Burilo.

Second Part: – 59 names, published on 08/25/06

Simo (Petar) Čabrić, Diko (Radivoje) Čabrić, Dragan (Nikola) Čabrić, Mario (Jozo) Cakalin, Radenko (Nenad) Čakarević, Vjekoslav (Veljko) Čakarević, Aleksa (Milentije) Čanić, Mladen (Bogoljub) Čavić, Predrag (Miodrag) Čelić, Rado (Krsto) Čelić, Ljubiša (Ranko) Čelić, Novica (Petar) Čelić, Petko (Milan) Cinco, Luka (Božo) Cinco, Milenko (Zdravko) Ćirković, Dragan (Branislav) Čobić, Marko (Dragiša) Čojić, Siniša (Šćepana) Čorić, Nemanja (Nedeljko) Crnjak, Rajko (Aleksa) Čuturić, Nada (Aleksa) Cvijan, Miljan (Borislav) Cijetić, Miroslav (Bogoljub) Cvijetić, Ristan (Čedo) Cvijetinović, Branislav (Matija) Čvorić, Radoš (Bojo) Čvoro, Todor (Milorad) Damnjanović, Stojan (Damjan) Danilović, Branislav (Boško) Danilović, Slaviša (Janko) Danojević, Vitomir (Rade) Deležan, Goran (Bogdan) Delmić, Milisav (Milan) Dendić, Milomir (Aćim) Đerić, Nenad (Spasoje) Deronjić, Boško (Miloš) Dešić, Nikola (Stjepan) Deurić, Goran (Zoran) Deurić, Momir (Lazo) Deurić, Milimir (Vojin) Divčić, Božidar (Drago) Đokić, Mirjana (Radoslav) Đokić, Slaviša (Dobrisav) Đokić, Savo (Sretko) Domazetović, Vitomir (Slobodan) Draganić, Miladin (Mitar) Dragić, Relja (Rajko) Dragić, Radomir (Branislav) Dragutinović, Zoran (Milan) Drakulić, Zoran (Ljuban) Drakulić, Ranko (Đorđo) Drašković, Marinko (Dražo) Dražić, Željko (Slobodan) Drljača, Dragiša (Mihajlo) Drljić, Pavle (Dragan) Dubov, Ljubiša (Cvijo) Đurić, Siniša (Mirko) Duković, Radinko (Mirko) Duković, Timo (Ratko) Dukić.

Third Part – 100 names, published on 09/05/2006

Tomislav (Milorad) Dukić, Rajko (Ratko) Dukić, Aleksandar (Vaso) Dukić, Zoran (Dejan) Durmić, Mile (Arsena) Đukić, Dragan (Milorad) Đukić, Brano (Milan) Đurđević, Miladin (Trivko) Đurić, Bogoljub (Gojko) Đurić, Dragan (Nikola) Đurić, Miloš (Nikola) Đurić, Boro (Veljko) Đurić, Srđan (Dušan) Đurić, Rajko (Slavko) Đurić, Milenko (Dušan) Đuričić, Aleksandar (Petar) Đurčić, Zoran (Mladen) Džabić, Nikola (Branko) Džebić, Brano (Ratomir) Džinić, Ratomir (Vukašin) Džinkić, Slaviša (Radivoje) Džuović, Veselin (Neđo) Erdelić, Ljuban (Milan) Erdelić, Radiša (Svetozar) Erić, Miroslav (Petko) Erić, Sreten (Tripun) Erić, Milenko (Todor) Erić, Cvjetko (Risto) Erić, Marinko (Mitar) Erić, Mirko (Miloš) Erkić, Dražan (Petar) Erkić, Nenad (Uroš) Filipović, Radiša (Simo) Filipović, Milomir (Danilo) Furtula, Aleksandar (Nikola) Gačanin, Veljko (Ilija) Gajić, Zoran (Milan) Gajić, Željko (Ilija) Gajić, Vlado (Čedo) Gajić, Ljubomir (Vukašin) Gajić, Milan (Mićo) Gajić, Goran (Branislav) Garić, Vojislav (Ilija) Gašanović, Mirko (Drago) Gašević, Miroslav (Miloš) Gatarić, Mladen (Stanko) Gavrić, Mikajlo (Bogdan) Gavrić, Ranko (Danilo) Gavrilović, Vida (Velimir) Glamočić, Miladin (Anđelko) Gligić, Milka (Petar) Gligorić, Siniša (Savo) Glogovac, Pero (Bogdan) Gluvak, Luka (Milutin) Gojgolović, Zoran (Đorđe) Gojković, Božica (Ilija) Golić, Dragan (Rajko) Golić, Ljepomir (Milan) Golić, Boško (Nikola) Golijanin, Goran (Ranko) Gostić, Miladin (Vid) Gostimirović, Ljubinko (Vid) Gostimirović, Slaviša (Milovan) Grahovac, Mirko (Bogoljub) Grujić, Slavoljub (Slavko) Gužvić, Dragan (Borislav) Hajduković, Dragan (Milojko) Ignjić, Dragan (Dragomir) Ikonić, Vidoje (Branko) Ilić, Mladen (Momir) Ilić, Ivo (Dušan) Ilić, Rajko (Pantelije) Ilić, Jovan (Savo) Ilić, Dragan (Desimir) Ilić, Stevo (Dušan) Ilić, Zoran (Živko) Ilić, Milenija (Miloš) Ilić, Cvijeta (Mihajlo) Ilić, Mladen (Lazo) Iličić, Dragan (Desimir) Iljić, Risto (Gojko) Ivanović, Milenko (Radenko) Ivanović, Željko (Gojko) Ivanović, Diko (Milenko) Ivanović, Đorđe (Risto) Ivanović, Radivoje (Dragoslav) Ivanović, Goran (Sreten) Ivanović, Nedeljko (Tomo) Jaćimović, Krsto (Boško) Jakšić, Zoran (Ljubisav) Janjić, Milorad (Radislav) Janjić, Nenad (Petar) Janjić, Lenka (Jovan) Janjušić, Jovo (Marijan) Janković, Boro (Dragomir) Jelić, Zoran (Zdravko) Jeličić, Slaviša (Radovan) Jelisić, Nebojša (Slobodan) Jeremić, Mile (Veselin) Jerkić.

PHOENIX: MECCA FOR SREBRENICA MASSACRE SUSPECTS

March 20, 2006 3 comments

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – A MECCA FOR SERBIAN SUSPECTS OF SREBRENICA GENOCIDE

U.S. officials are investigating 23 Bosnian Serb men and a woman living in Phoenix for links they might have had to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre – the worst war crime committed in Europe since the fall of Nazi Germany.
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So far, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI have arrested the 24 who were in either the Bratunac or Zvornik brigades that orchestrated the slaughter in July 1995, capturing, holding, executing, burying and re-burying the more then 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
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All 24 former soldiers have been charged with immigration violations. Some remain under investigation for possible torture charges, under a little used law that is the only way U.S. prosecutors can try suspected foreign war criminals or human rights abusers other than on immigration violations. Often they are just deported.
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War crimes investigators told Newsday while many of the soldiers were not involved directly, war crimes investigators said, the Bratunac Brigade’s MP platoon was a central cog of the killing machine.
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Throughout the United States, federal investigators and lawyers are working on about 1,000 cases of suspected human rights abusers from more than 85 countries, and they believe there are many more undiscovered suspects living in the United States.
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Mladen Blagojevic and Zdravko Bozic were soldiers in the Bratunac Brigade’s military police platoon. Until recently, they were enjoying comfortable, American lives in the quiet streets of Phoenix.
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As a result of an investigation into possible Srebrenica war criminals living in the United States that started in 2003, Bozic is in the final stages of deportation proceedings.
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After spending nearly a year in prison for immigration fraud, he is likely to be deported soon – not to his native Bosnia but to Serbia, where he is less likely to be investigated for his possible involvement in Srebrenica.
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Blagojevic, an electrician, was living until recently in a home he shared in north Phoenix with his wife and son. Since he spoke to a Newsday reporter there in November, he has moved.
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Already charged with lying about his membership in the Bosnian Serb military, he has been under investigation for his possible involvement in torture during the Srebrenica massacre, according to federal officials.
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Although never used by a prosecutor since it became law in 1994, the federal torture statute’s maximum penalty is death.
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Bozic and Blagojevic, the two former comrades in war, are not alone in Phoenix. So far, agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI have arrested 24 Bosnian Serbs in Phoenix who were in either the Bratunac or Zvornik brigades at the time of the massacre. Those brigades played central roles in capturing, holding, executing, burying and re-burying the more then 8,000 Bosniak men and boys killed in July 1995.
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Investigators so far have not accumulated evidence that enables them to charge either with war crimes, but they continue to investigate Blagojevic.
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The Arizona cluster of Srebrenica soldiers is, for sheer numbers, perhaps the starkest example yet of the wider phenomenon of foreign war crimes suspects finding sanctuary in the affluent anonymity of America’s cities and suburbs. Federal investigators and lawyers are working on about 1,000 cases of suspected human rights abusers from more than 85 countries – and they believe there are many more undiscovered suspects living in the United States.
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While prosecutors are often successful in briefly jailing and then deporting suspects, many are frustrated at what they consider gaps in the law, leaving them unable to pursue the suspects for their original crimes rather than for immigration violations.
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Some human rights activists suspect the one law prosecutors do have in their arsenal – the 1994 torture statute – will remain unused under any Bush administration attorney general, given the administration’s own entanglements in torture controversies.
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Some federal officials and human rights activists fear the situation has given the United States a global reputation as a soft-touch sanctuary for people just like the 24 Bosnian Serb suspects in Arizona. All 24 former soldiers, including one woman, have been charged with immigration violations and some remain under investigation for possible torture charges, the only way U.S. prosecutors can try foreign war criminals or human rights abusers with a crime in the United States other than immigration violations.
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A Bosnian Serb Army payroll document dated February 1995 and obtained by Newsday lists both men’s names on the platoon roster of 33 men. Investigators confirmed the men told federal authorities they were in the platoon and in the area at the time of the massacre. A source close to the case said federal investigators possess Bosnian Serb Army logs that place Bozic at key locations and times during the atrocities.
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Bozic pleaded guilty in November 2004 to one charge of immigration fraud and one of perjury, essentially admitting he had lied to U.S. immigration authorities about his military service. In the plea, he acknowledges: “During July 1995, I was a member of the Military Police for the Bratunac Brigade of the VRS and worked in and around Bratunac and Potocari.”
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It was in Potocari that the men and boys were separated from the women and children. The men were held in Bratunac before their mass murder. Many soldiers guarding the prisoners there at that time committed murder and acts of torture before the majority of the prisoners were bused to their execution sites, according to the few survivors of the killings and the testimony of former Bosnian Serb commanders during their own war crimes trials.
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Mevludin Oric was one of a handful of men held in the buses overnight in Bratunac to survive the mass executions that followed. He now lives in a rundown village outside Sarajevo, his nights torn apart by memories of the terror he faced in Bratunac as the MPs guarded his bus.
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The Serb soldiers were “laughing, singing Chetnik songs,” he said in an interview at a village cafe in December.
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“They were firing above the buses. We were on the bus. We couldn’t hear directly what they were saying but they were clearly pleased … there was a Serb I recognized from school in Srebrenica. He got on the bus and started beating me. He demanded that I get off the bus so that he could kill me.”
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Another of the very few survivors of the massacre, Hurem Suljic, who is believed to be living as a protected witness in the United States, told journalists after the massacre that the Serb soldiers in Bratunac tortured and killed dozens of prisoners.
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Was it possible, Oric was asked, for a Serb soldier to be in Bratunac and not understand what was happening to the Muslim men and boys? No, he said. “All of them were killing. They were praying to God to give them a chance to kill someone. There were so many drunk soldiers in front of the bus demanding the MPs let them kill us.”
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Neither Bozic nor Blagojevic has acknowledged committing war crimes. Bozic’s plea agreement includes admissions of guilt in relation to immigration charges only. Blagojevic told Newsday in an interview he had done nothing wrong.
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But at the United Nations war crimes court in The Hague, commanders of the Bratunac Brigade and other units involved in the Srebrenica massacre have described in some detail what Blagojevic and Bozic’s platoon was doing at the time.
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Momir Nikolic, a former neighbor of Blagojevic as well as chief of intelligence and security of the Bratunac Brigade, pleaded guilty in May 2003 at the UN tribunal to a crime against humanity for his role in the massacre. As part of his plea agreement, he gave a statement of facts.
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On July 12, he said, the platoon helped with “the separation and detention of able-bodied Muslim men” from the women and children at the Dutch UN peacekeepers’ base in Potocari.
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Thousands of terrified Bosniaks gathered there from Srebrenica to seek protection from the outnumbered Dutch soldiers as the Bosnian Serb Army seized control of the UN safe area around Srebrenica.
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That day the Serb forces there, he said, “abused and assaulted many Muslim men and women … I also heard that some Muslim men were taken to isolated areas around Potocari and killed.”
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Nikolic also described the MP platoon’s participation in guarding prisoners, noting: “It was reported to me that approximately 80 to 100 Muslims were murdered in the hangar near the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac” on July 13.
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“Their bodies were deposited over a hillside and covered with dirt.” He did not specify which unit did the killing.
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At one point Nikolic told of how he and a soldier in the MP platoon, Mile Petrovic – whose name is also on the payroll document obtained by Newsday – took six Bosniak men prisoner. Soon after, he said, Petrovic told him that he had killed the men in “revenge for my brother,” according to the statement.
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In an interview in a country in the former Yugoslavia, a former Serbian paramilitary who was based in Bratunac for much of the Bosnian war said he was familiar with the activities of the platoon.
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“If you want to know whether they [the MP unit] were shooting Srebrenicans in ’95, yes,” said the former paramilitary, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said he did not know either Blagojevic or Bozic by name.
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Last week another former Bosnian Serb soldier recalled in an interview with Newsday what he had witnessed at the Vuk Karadzic school. He spoke with numerous expletives, which have been deleted and, as he spoke, in a bar on the border between Bosnia and Montenegro, his hands shook so much he had to put his cigarette in an ashtray before it was finished.
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As is common with Serbs, he referred to Muslims as “Turks” [which is considered highly derogatory term for Bosniaks (Bosnia's Muslims)]
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“I let inside two military policemen . They were holding a Turk while a civilian came with pliers and was breaking up his toes with pliers. I said what was that and he told me it wasn’t my … business … The sergeant told me that they came to avenge his brother that mujahedeen had killed … I couldn’t bear the screams. I would never do such a thing.
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“There were others going into the hall and shouting Turk names … Some Turks were beaten to death and others were left bleeding. Corpses had to be dragged away. The school was littered with blood. And the children attend the school now. I would vomit to be taken there again.”
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The timing of the Srebrenica massacre is highly relevant to possible torture charges because it allows prosecutors to indict those involved. Passed in November 1994, the torture statute does not cover crimes committed before that date.
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So while Bozic will soon be deported, Blagojevic is still under investigation.”We’re still working evidence,” one official said. “The option exists because of the time frame of the events and everything else. If the evidence allows us to do that, that will be a consideration. And I suspect that’s something the U.S. attorney out there will buy.”
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In an interview in October, Paul Charlton, the U.S. attorney for the district of Arizona, said he would want to prosecute a torture case if he had sufficient evidence.
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“If torture had been there in terms of proof, we would have gone forward with a torture case,” he said. “What we have here in Arizona are individuals who may or may not have been involved in torture.”
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Charlton said he has devoted considerable time and resources to investigating the Bosnian Serb suspects and sent an assistant U.S. attorney, together with an FBI agent, an ICE agent and an expert witness, to visit prosecutors in The Hague to collect evidence.
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The same team had tried earlier to find witnesses among the large Bosniak immigrant population of St. Louis, showing Srebrenica survivors photographs of the former soldiers arrested in Phoenix.
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More FBI and ICE investigators sought witnesses and evidence in many U.S. cities and, according to other sources, in Bosnia.
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Investigators and translators from the Srebrenica team of the prosecutor’s office in The Hague came to Arizona to assist in the investigation and help interview the first four suspects arrested, including Bozic. In spite of the efforts, Charlton and his team did not come up with evidence that Bozic and Blagojevic had been involved in war crimes.
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“In this particular case, ICE used every legal remedy available against Mr. Bozic, ultimately resulting in a one-year prison sentence and his removal order from the United States,” said a spokesman for the Human Rights Violators and Public Safety Unit, the office in Immigration and Customs Enforcement that seeks out foreign war criminals and human rights abusers living in the United States.
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“It is our hope that any allegations of war crimes lodged against Mr. Bozic, if substantiated, will be fully prosecuted by the proper tribunal.” But if Bozic does make it to Serbia, he almost certainly will be beyond the reach of the Bosnian State Court, which handles war crimes trials in Bosnia. Officials there say it is almost unthinkable that Serbia would extradite anyone to Bosnia – and if Bozic becomes a Serbian citizen, it would be illegal.
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Federal investigators told Newsday they believe there are more former soldiers from the Bosnian Serb Army who may have been involved in the Srebrenica massacre and are now living in the United States. They declined to give numbers.
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“We have people here who may have lied to enter the United States,” Charlton said. “We have people here we’re prosecuting who may be able to provide us with information that would lead us to other individuals who are involved in this. So the investigation is ongoing because of both of those concerns.”

SREBRENICA VIDEO KILLER: “IN FRONT OF GOD, I’M CERTAINLY GUILTY”

February 22, 2006 Comments off

DEFENDANT IN SHOOTING OF SREBRENICA BOSNIAKS ACKNOWLEDGES VIDEO

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro-A defendant in the trial of five Serb militiamen charged with the 1995 videotaped execution of six Bosniaks [Bosnian Muslims] acknowledged Tuesday that he taken part in the shooting, but said he was following orders.
Defendant Pero Petrasevic told the judges: “In front of God, I’m certainly guilty.”
“You will now have to determine if I am guilty for following the orders,” Petrasevic, 36, told a three-judge panel presiding over the landmark case.
He was the first of the five former members of the dreaded Serb “Scorpions” paramilitary unit to acknowledge shooting the Bosnian men. The rest said they did not fire their machine guns although they were either present or knew about the execution.
The suspects at the trial, which opened in December, were charged with murder and war crimes after the broadcast last summer of the gruesome video showing six Bosnian Muslim civilians being taken from a truck, their hands tied, lined up on a hillside near the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica and sprayed with machine gun fire.
The five defendants face up to 40 years in jail if convicted. Serbia has abolished the death penalty.
Petrasevic, who initially used silence as his defense, said Tuesday that he only followed orders issued by his superior Slobodan Medic, the prime defendant in the case.
Instead of entering his plea, the judges had in December read his pretrial testimony which detailed his part in the execution.
“I was the first to fire the shots into the back of one of the prisoners,” Petrasevic’s testimony said. “After that, I don’t remember anything else because I was in shock.”
The trials in Serbia of those responsible for war crimes have become possible since the ouster of autocratic former President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Milosevic himself is being tried by the U.N. war crimes court in The Hague, Netherlands.
The trial in Belgrade was seen as a key test of the ability of Serbia’s judiciary to deal with cases of war crimes committed by Serbs during the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.


Related stories:
- Croatian Court Jails Srebrenica Killer
- Serb Soldier Gets 15 years in Srebrenica Video Killings
- Serbia: Second Defendant Admits Killing Srebrenica Muslims
- Denial of Srebrenica Video Killings Collapses

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