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War crimes trial of Bosnian Serb ex-minister opens

Last Updated: Monday, September 14, 2009 - 23:33

The Hague: Former Bosnian Serb interior
minister Mico Stanisic was part of a systematic campaign to
"permanently remove" non-Serbs from areas of Bosnia,
prosecutors charged as his war crimes trial opened in The
Hague today.

Stanisic, as former political head of the Bosnian Serb
police, is accused of murder, torture and persecution before
the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
(ICTY) along with his erstwhile subordinate Stojan Zupljanin.

"It is not suggested that either of the two accused
personally committed any murders or beatings or took part
personally in looting. However, they were aware of these
crimes," prosecutor Joanna Korner told the judges.

"Their failure to take any action to investigate the
crimes or to take steps to prevent future crimes was ... a
positive affirmation of their adherence to the criminal
enterprise designed to rid territory of non-Serb peoples."

Stanisic is charged in his capacity as former political
head of the Bosnian Serb police, while Zupljanin was in charge
of the police of Krajina, the self-declared autonomous region
in northwestern Bosnia.

Zupljanin later became an adviser to former Bosnian Serb
president Radovan Karadzic, who is himself facing charges of
war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide before the

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, September 14, 2009 - 23:33
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