News 13 Apr 15

Bosnia Charges Ten Serb Soldiers Over Strpci Massacre

Ten former Bosnian Serb Army troops were indicted for allegedly abducting 20 people from a train travelling from Belgrade to Bar in February 1993 and killing them.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo
Strpci train station in eastern Bosnia.

The Bosnian state prosecution on Monday charged Luka Dragicevic, Boban Indjic, Obrad and Novak Poluga, Dragan Sekaric, Oliver Krsmanovic, Petko Indjic, Radojica Ristic, Vuk Ratkovic, as well as Mico Jovicic, with having kidnapped the 20 passengers from the train at Strpci station in eastern Bosnia on February 27, 1993.

The prosecution alleges that they took the passengers to the Visegrad area and killed them.

Most of the people who were killed were Bosniak citizens of Serbia and Montenegro. One Croat and another person described as Arabic were also among them, the prosecution said.

“Following the kidnapping, the victims were taken to a school building in Prelovo, near Visegrad, where they were tortured, abused and robbed. After that the victims, who had visible injuries, were transported to Musici, where they were killed. Their bodies were dumped into River Drina,” a prosecution statement said.

The remains of four of the victims were found after the war, while the others are still unaccounted for.

The defendants were arrested in a joint operation by the Bosnian state prosecution and the Serbian war crimes prosecution of Serbia on December 5 last year.

Five more suspects were arrested in Serbia and were indicted at the beginning of March.

Bosnian prosecution spokesperson Boris Grubesic told BIRN that the indictment showed that the two neighbouring countries were working together well.

“This indictment is a direct result of positive cooperation between the Bosnian and Serbian war crimes prosecutions. Both prosecutions have also had very good cooperation with families whose loved ones were killed, and who have been searching for their loved ones for two decades,” said Grubesic.

The only person to have been convicted of the Strpci killings crime so far was Nebojsa Ranisavljevic, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a court in Montenegro.

During his trial, it was proved that there was an advance plan for the abductions and that the Serbian Railway Company had informed the Serbian interior ministry and the Yugoslav Army about the possibility of seizing the passengers.

Eight of the ex-soldiers indicted on Monday were remanded in custody for a month.

Two other men who were arrested during the joint swoop in Decdember, Momir Nikolic and Dragan Lalic, were not indicted on Monday.

Grubesic said that they were still being investigated.

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