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STOJAN ZUPLJANIN ARRESTED!

June 11, 2008
Stojan Zupljanin is charged with crimes against the humanity, including torture and extermination of the Bosniak and Croat population of Bosnian Krajina….

Serbian authorities on Wednesday arrested Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Stojan Zupljanin, an official at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said. The U.S. government offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Zupljanin’s arrest or conviction.

During the 1992-95 Bosnian war, Zupljanin was a prominent member of Radovan Karadzic’s Bosnian Serb authorities which had organized the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica in which at least 8,000 Bosniaks died.

Zupljanin, 56, who commanded Bosnian Serb police during the Bosnian Serb war in the mid-1990s, is charged with crimes against the humanity, including torture and extermination of the Bosniak and Croat population of Bosnian Krajina.

The indictment against Zupljanin says he planned, ordered, or carried out the persecution and extermination of Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs in 1992. Forces under his command, the indictment says, were responsible for killing, torturing, raping and attacking non-Serbs in towns and villages.

The indictment also alleges that Zupljanin ordered the unlawful detention of people in prison camps which lacked adequate shelter, food, water, or medical care, and he is also charged with torture.

“Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats, and other non-Serbs were confined in inhumane conditions and subjected to intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering by beatings, torture, sexual assaults, humiliation, harassment, and psychological abuse in camps, police stations, military barracks, and other detention facilities,” according to the 2004 indictment against Zupljanin.

He and his forces destroyed villages and religious buildings, including Roman Catholic sacred sites, and plundered property, according to the indictment.

Zupljanin was born in Maslovare, a village in the Kotor Varos municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As commander of the Bosnian Serb police during the Bosnian war, Zupljanin had operational control over the police forces responsible for the detention camps where thousands of prisoners were held in horrific conditions and many were murdered.

The United States welcomed the news of Zupljanin’s arrest. “His arrest is another positive step in ensuring that those responsible for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia are held responsible,” U.S. State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said.

Hague Tribunal spokeswoman Olga Kavran expressed similar views. “We have been informed by the Serbian authorities that Stojan Zupljanin has been arrested,” said Olga Kavran, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office at the ICTY (the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia). “The office of the prosecutor welcomes this arrest and the fact that this brings the number of remaining fugitives from four to three.”

She said that she did not know the exact date of Zupljanin’s extradition to the Tribunal, but she expected it to be very soon. At the same time, Kavran said that the fact that Zupljanin had been arrested near Belgrade indicated that the Serbian authorities had known his whereabouts, as Brammertz himself asserted recently.

EU Common Foreign and Security Policy Chief Javier Solana said in Brussels that Zupljanin’s arrest was good news.

Solana said that it was not up to him to say whether the arrest could lead to a positive appraisal at the EU Council of Ministers on Serbia’s cooperation with the Hague, but depended rather on Hague Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz.

“It’s up to him to give the first reaction, but the news is very good,” Solana said. “The arrest of fugitives and bringing them to justice is good for everyone. It is one of the forms of cooperation Serbia has committed to, so this is good news.”

“Zupljanin’s arrest is an important step towards Serbia’s full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, which is the key to lasting reconciliation in the Balkans,” said EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, Slovenian media report.

The remaining fugitives are Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, and Goran Hadzic, Kavran said. All are wanted by the ICTY for war crimes related to the Balkan wars of the 1990s. A fourth man, Radovan Stankovic, was convicted in Bosnia in November 2006 for crimes against humanity but escaped from a Bosnian Serb prison with the help of Serb prison guards in May 2007, and remains on the run.

  1. Owen
    June 12, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Latest (second amended) indictment:
    http://www.un.org/icty/indictment/english/zup-2ai041006.htm

    Dragan at Blog de veille sur les droits humains en Serbie links to the French version:
    http://serbie-droitshumains.blogspot.com/2008/06/stojan-upljanin.html

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