news 04 Dec 17

Bosnia Arrests 13 Suspected of Crimes in Konjic

The Bosnian prosecution has arrested 13 men on suspicion that they committed crimes against humanity in the Konjic area in 1992.

Lamija Grebo
BIRN
Sarajevo
Photo: SIPA.

Bosnia's state investigation and protection agency, SIPA, on Monday arrested 13 men suspected of committing crimes in the Konjic area southwest of Sarajevo in the 1992-19 war.

The 13 – Sefik Niksic, Adnan Alikadic, Mitko Pirkic, Safaudin Cosic, Muhamed Cakić, Ismet Hebibovic "Broceta", Redzo Balic, Hamed Lukomirak, Almir Padalović, Sead Jusufbegovic,  Senadin Cibo, Agan and Esad Ramic – were all former members of the mainly Bosniak Bosnian army, Territorial Defence and the local Konjic police.

They are suspected of taking part in a widespread and systematic attack on the local Bosnian Serb community in the spring and summer of 1992 aimed at expelling them from Konjic, Bradina and surrounding villlages.

“There is reasonable suspicion that these men took part in killings, torture, abuse and rape of victims,” the Bosnian prosecution said.

The suspects will be handed over to the prosecution, which will then decide whether to file a custody motion.

Since it started working in 2003, the Bosnian prosecution has never filed charges against Bosniaks alleged to have perpetrated crimes against humanity.

In 2012, Bosnia's state court jailed a Bosniak, Eso Macic, for 15 years for crimes committed against Serbs detained in the Celebici camp near Konjic.

Three others, two Bosniaks and an ethnic Croat, were sentenced earlier for crimes connected to the prison camp.

Crime against humanity is covered under Bosnia's state criminal code, which was adopted in 2003. The maximum penalty is 40 years in prison.

The prosecutions in the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina do not prosecute perpetrators for crime against humanity.

According to the last pre-war census, in 1991, Konjic had a majority Bosniak population. Bosniaks comprised about 54 per cent of the population, Croats about 26 per cent and Serbs 15 per cent.

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