SREBRENICA GENOCIDE SUSPECTS GIVE UP FIGHT
SUSPECTS AGREE TO BE DEPORTED TO BOSNIA
…Now that Veselin Vidacak and Ugljesa Pantic are being deported to Bosnia – we can only hope they will be re-arrested and tried on genocide charges. – Blog Editor
Two Bosnian Serbs who covered up their service in a military brigade that took part in the Srebrenica genocide gave up their fight to stay in the US on Monday and agreed to be deported to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Veselin Vidacak and Ugljesa Pantic were convicted of lying about serving in the breakaway Republika Srpska’s Zvornik Brigade when applying for refugee status. The brigade took part in the massacre of over 8,000 Srebrenica Bosniaks in July 1995.
The two have been ferried between federal detention centers for the better part of a year, and in federal immigration court Monday they decided to leave the country rather than continue the legal fight.
Vidacak, 32, and Pantic, 56, were convicted in May of concealing their involvement in the notorious brigade after they were arrested as part of a national sweep that netted dozens of Serb suspects. The two had lived in High Point, N.C. before their arrests.
Vidacak — who claimed he was on sick leave during the massacre — said he was pressed into service by the Bosnian Serb government of Republika Srpska, then a breakaway self-declared state within Bosnia-Herzegovina. Pantic argued he was not a soldier and that he did more menial tasks, such as digging canals and splitting wood.
The two had fought deportation since their December arrests. But Monday they decided to drop the battle rather than risk a government appeal — and months more in federal detention centers.
“They wanted to move on with their lives,” said Jeremy McKinney, the defense lawyer who represented the men.
A third North Carolina man accused of lying on his immigration papers by concealing his involvement in the brigade, Milivoje Jankovic, was exonerated of the charges but still faces a deportation hearing.
Research Corner: Here is a list of some of the cases we covered in connection with the Serb suspects of Srebrenica genocide hiding in the United States:
1. List of Serb suspects hiding in the U.S. and getting away with Genocide
2. Sixteen charged with concealing Bosnian Serb military when entering U.S. – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (December 15, 2006)
3. Former member of brutal Bosnian Serb military unit sentenced to jail for concealing his military past – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (November 20, 2006)
4. ICE probe leads to indictement of four former members of Bosnian Serb military for immigration fraud – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (June 8 2006)
5. Thirteen past members of Serbian military indicted for immigration fraud – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (September 14, 2005)
6. Four Serb suspects arrested in Chicago
7. Four Serbs on trial for Srebrenica genocide; Two of them deported from the U.S.
8. Butchers of Srebrenica hiding in the U.S.
9. The United States deports two Serbs wanted for Srebrenica massacre
10. Bosnian Serb immigrants failed to disclose their past service in Genocidal military
11. Marko Boskic – Srebrenica murderer
12. Butcher of Srebrenica wants his own admission kept silent
13. Srebrenica massacre gunmen will not face torture charges
14. Elusive Justice: a man who gunned down 1,200 Srebrenica Bosniaks
15. Phoenix, Arizona: Mecca for Serb suspects of Srebrenica genocide