Posts Tagged ‘Ljubomir Borovcanin’


August 22, 2006 7 comments


“Defenceless men and boys [were] executed by firing squads, buried in mass graves and then dug up and buried again in an attempt to conceal the truth from the world.” – Carla Del Ponte, Aug 21, 2006. – Opening statement in Srebrenica Genocide trial.

The trial of seven top Bosnian Serb military officials charged over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of over 8,000 Muslims was to resume in the UN court here, in the biggest ever joint trial for war crimes committed during the Balkan wars in the 1990s. (From top L) Vujadin Popovic, Ljubisa Beara, Drago Nikolic, Ljubomir Borovcanin and Vinko Pandurevic (from bottom L) Vinko Pandurevic, Radivoje Miletic and Milan Gvero.Intro: Carla Del Ponte, the UN’s chief prosecutor, said in her opening statement: “Words cannot convey the magnitude of the crimes committed and the suffering of the victims. Now the name Srebrenica is infamous. Unfortunately, two men who should be sitting in this courtroom are still at large. I am talking, of course, about Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.” Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, and his military commander General Mladic are accused of ultimate responsiblity for the slaughter. Ms Del Ponte blamed the Serbian Government for their absence, accusing it of a scandalous refusal to arrest General Mladic, who is seen by many Serbs as a national hero. Conspicuous by their absence are wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, and his generals, Ratko Mladic and Zdravko Tolimir – all of whom are still on the run.
Carla Del Ponte, the U.N.'s Chief Crimes ProsecutorThe U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague has resumed the trial of seven former Bosnian Serb military and police officers charged for their alleged role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre

The joint trial of the seven, five of whom are accused of genocide, is the biggest at the tribunal, which has combined their cases as it tries to complete its work by 2010. The trial, which started last month, got under way in earnest on Monday.

Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte used her opening statement today to criticize Serbia’s government for failing to arrest and extradite fugitive war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic. She said it is “inexcusable” that the former top commander of Serb forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina has not been detained.

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic are the most wanted fugitives of Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, indicted by the Hague-based court for the siege of Sarajevo and masterminding the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. Mladic is thought to be hiding in Serbia.

Kamenica: one of Srebrenica massacre mass graves.Serb forces killed over 8,000 Bosniaks, mostly men and boys, after capturing the town, which the United Nations had declared a United Nation’s safe haven.

Five of the former officers, Ljubisa Beara, Ljubomir Borovcanin, Vinko Pandurevic, Drago Nikolic and Vujadin Popovic, face various charges, including genocide and extermination. The two other men on trial, Radivoje Miletic and Milan Gvero, are charged with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of wars including murder, persecution, forcible transfer and deportation. They have already appeared individually before the court and pleaded not guilty.

Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague, told the court that Gen Mladic “should be on trial in this case”.

“Now the name Srebrenica is infamous … invariably associated with the most heinous crimes,” she added.

Kamenica: one of Srebrenica massacre mass graves.She repeated her criticism of Belgrade for failing to deliver him to the tribunal and promised that he and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic would eventually be brought to trial.

“It is absolutely scandalous that they have not been caught. Serbia is fully capable to arrest them, but has refused,” she said.

Prosecutor Peter McCloskey said that Mladic and Karadzic plotted to force out the Bosniak population and that the armed forces were instructed accordingly.

“Mladic and Karadzic made what I refer to as the supreme act of arrogance and impunity and set out the plan to deal with Muslims in eastern Bosnia,” he said.

“Men and boys were put in horrendous conditions … they were beaten, starved and killed in two days,” he said referring to July 1995, after the fall of the enclave.

“They were marked for death … There was an organized mass execution going on,” he added.

Bosnian Muslim woman asks U.N. soldier for help to prevent Srebrenica massacre. U.N. stood helpless while over 8,000 men and boys (children) were massacred by Serb forces on July 11th 1995.The EU suspended talks on Serbia’s hopes of accession in May because of its failure to hand Gen Mladic to the UN war crimes tribunal.

Last month, the Serbian prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, submitted a plan for Gen Mladic’s arrest which the EU welcomed.

Ms Del Ponte told the court that the seven men in the dock were “among the most responsible” for the massacre of over 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the UN-declared safe haven.

The trial at The Hague – which is expected to last more than a year – started last month with legal arguments and began its main phase today. It is the tribunal’s latest attempt to hold senior officials responsible.

It was “beyond reasonable doubt” that Bosnian Serb forces committed “forcible resettlement of the population, mass murders and genocide,” del Ponte stated.

The accused sat in silence and betrayed no emotion as Ms Del Ponte described the Srebrenica massacre as “the final phase of a comprehensive criminal plan to permanently erase the Muslim population of Srebrenica”.

She told the court: “It is difficult, if not impossible to comprehend the horror inflicted on the inhabitants.

“Defenceless men and boys [were] executed by firing squads, buried in mass graves and then dug up and buried again in an attempt to conceal the truth from the world.”

She said many victims had been bound and blindfolded “to make the murder easier for the executioners”.

Bodies continue to be found in mass graves. Last week, forensic experts said they had exhumed the remains of more than 1,000 victims from a single grave near the village of Kamenica (read more here ).

Many of the victims had had their arms bound with cloth or plastic and bullets were mixed with the bones.

The skeletons were badly damaged, indicating that the bodies had been dug up from elsewhere and dumped into a second grave as Bosnian Serb forces attempted to cover their tracks.

The Hague-based court has staged only a handful of trials dealing with the Srebrenica atrocities, including the case against the former Serb leader, Slobodan Milosevic, which was aborted after his death in March.

The two men accused of masterminding the killings – General Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic – are the tribunal’s most wanted war crimes suspects.

The tribunal has already convicted six men over Srebrenica. Gen Mladic’s deputy, General Radislav Krstic, is serving a 35-year prison term for aiding and abetting genocide and Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic is appealing against an 18-year sentence for complicity in genocide.

The indictments of the seven men were combined last year into a single indictment. They face allegations ranging from genocide to murder and persecution and are being defended by more than a dozen lawyers.

The suspects sat today in the packed courtroom, their faces betraying no emotion as they listened through earphones to a translation of Ms Del Ponte’s opening statement.

At the end of her speech to the court, Ms Del Ponte vowed that the seven suspects would not be the last to face justice for the Srebrenica genocide.

Gen Mladic, Mr Karadzic and others evading capture “will be arrested,” she said.

“They will be brought to The Hague and they will be tried for their crimes. This is our pledge to the international community and the women … who mourn their losses and all victims of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.”

The prosecution sought to link former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to the Srebrenica massacre but the case was closed without judgment after his death in March.

The massacre in the Bosniak enclave in eastern Bosnia is Europe’s worst atrocity since the Holocaust.


April 5, 2006 Comments off

Six Bosnian Serbs plead not guilty over Srebrenica

Six former Bosnian Serb officers pleaded not guilty on Tuesday at the U.N. war crimes tribunal to charges of genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys.
The men have already appeared individually before the court but last year their indictments on charges of genocide or complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war were combined in a single indictment. Presiding judge Carmel Agius said in court he plans to start the combined trial in August.

The six men — Vinko Pandurevic, Ljubisa Beara, Vujadin Popovic, Drago Nikolic, Milorad Trbic and Ljubomir Borovcanin — all surrendered to the tribunal. Zdravko Tolimir, however, is still on the run.

Tolimir was one of several aides to wartime Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic, who is also still at large and one of the tribunal’s most wanted men.

Mladic is also indicted over the Srebrenica massacre, the worst mass killing in Europe since world War Two, and the 43-month siege of Sarajevo in which more than 15,000 people died.

The Hague tribunal’s chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte insists Mladic is sheltered by hardline army officers in Serbia, which Belgrade denies.
Two other Mladic aides are also named in the indictment but they are not charged with genocide.
Radivoje Miletic and Milan Gvero, who are currently on provisional release, are charged with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of wars including murder, persecution, forcible transfer and deportation.


December 11, 2005 Comments off
Ljubomir Borovcanin – (IT-02-64)

Deputy Commander of the Special Police Brigade of the Republika Srpska

Born 27 February 1960 in Han Pijesak in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Arrest / Surrendered

1 April 2005, voluntary surrendered

Transferred to ICTY
1 April 2005
Initial Appearance
7 April 2005

Charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1)) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3)) with:

– Genocide
– Crimes against humanity
– Violations of the laws or customs of war

The Indictment
Factual allegations:
The Indictment that was confirmed on 6 September 2002, alleges that Ljubomir Borovcanin was present in and around the areas of Bratunac, Potocari, Sandici, Kravica, Srebrenica and Zvornik from 11 July to 18 July 1995. Units under his command were deployed in and around the areas of Potocari, Sandici, Kravica and Zvornik from 12 July to 18 July 1995. In the several days following the attack on Srebrenica, the Bosnian Serb Army (“VRS”) and Ministry of the Interior (“MUP”) forces captured, detained, summarily executed, and buried over 7,000 Bosniak men and boys from the Srebrenica enclave, and forcibly transferred the Bosniak women and children of Srebrenica out of the enclave.

The Indictment against Ljubomir Borovcanin refers to his alleged involvement in: opportunist killings in Potocari, opportunistic killings in Bratunac, wide-scale and organised killings in Potocari and Tisca, killings and mistreatment of prisoners captured along the Bratunac/Milici road and wide-scale and organised killings in the Zvornik area, as well as other opportunistic killings. Ljubomir Borovcanin, together with other VRS and MUP officers and units as identified in this Indictment, was a member of and knowingly participated in a Joint Criminal Enterprise, the common purpose of which was, among other things: to focibly transfer the women and children from the Srebrenica enclave to Kladanj on 12 July and 13 July 1995; and to capture, detain, summarily execute by firing squad, bury, and rebury thousands of Bosniak men and boys aged 16 to 60 from the Srebrenica enclave from 12 July 1995 until and about 19 July 1995.

The Indictment charges Ljubomir Borovcanin on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) of the Statute) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3) of the Statute) with:

One count of complicity in genocide (Article 4 of the Statute – complicity in genocide)
Four counts of crimes against humanity (Article 5 of the Statute – extermination, murder, persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, inhumane acts (forcible transfer))
One count of violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 of the Statute – murder)

Joint Criminal Enterprise
The Joint Criminal Enterprise, in which Ljubomir Borovcanin was a member and participant, was conceived and designed by General Ratko Mladic and others on 11 and 12 July 1995, and administered and carried out by members of the VRS and MUP forces through the time period and by the means alleged in this Indictment.

Members of this Joint Criminal Enterprise also included: General Ratko Mladic, the Commander of the VRS, General Milenko Zivanovic, Commander of the Drina Corps through about 2000 hours on July 13 1995; General Radislav Krstic, Chief of Staff/Deputy Commander through about 2000 hours on 13 July 1995 and thereafter Commander of the Drina Corps; Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic, Commander of the Bratunac Brigade; Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, Commander of the Zvornik Brigade; Lieutenant Colonel Dragan Obrenovic, Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Zvornik Brigade; Momir Nikolic, Assistant Commander for Security and Intelligence of the Bratunac Brigade; Dragan Jokic, Chief of Engineering of the Zvornik Brigade and various other individuals and military and police units.

keywords: Ljubomir Borovcanin, Srebrenica Genocide, Srebrenica Massacre, Bosniaks, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnia-Herzegovina