News 08 Jan 15

Bosnian Serb MP Charged with Srebrenica Genocide

Dragomir Vasic, a former police chief who is now a lawmaker in the country’s Serb-led Republika Srpska entity parliament, is charged with taking part in the 1995 genocide of Bosniaks.

Justice Report



Dragomir Vasic in a campaign video for last year's elections in Bosnia.

The Bosnian state court on Thursday confirmed the indictment of Bosnian Serb lawmaker Vasic and two other former police officials from Zvornik for taking part in the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995.

Vasic was the commander of the Zvornik police headquarters and chief of the Public Security Center in the town in the summer of 1995, when Bosnian Serb forces killed more than 7,000men and boys and forcibly removed 40,000 civilians from Srebrenica.

He was elected to the Republika Srpska People’s Assembly in last October’s general elections as a candidate of the Serb Democratic Party founded by Radovan Karadzic, who is on trial in The Hague for genocide in Srebrenica and other crimes during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The indictment against Vasic also charges Danilo Zoljic and Radomir Pantic, former commander of Special Police Units in Zvornik and former commander of the first platoon of the Special Police Units respectively, with genocide in Srebrenica.

Vasic is charged with participating in a criminal enterprise, while Zoljic and Pantic are accused of aiding and abetting the genocide.

All three defendants have been charged with taking part in the planning and realisation of the genocide by ordering the use of manpower and police equipment for the capture and forcible separation of Bosniak men and boys after the fall of the UN-protected Srebrenica enclave to Serb forces in July 1995.

“The defendants participated in planning and carrying out the arrest of prisoners, their transportation to sites of mass execution, as well as carrying out the executions of several thousand Bosniak men at Kozluk, Branjevo, Pilica and other places,” the indictment says.

The prosecution also charges them with burying the victims in mass graves and with exhuming and removing the bodies to secondary mass graves in order to conceal the crime.

When Vasic testified in a trial at the Hague Tribunal in 2009, he said that on the evening of July 13, 1995, he met Ljubisa Beara, the security chief of the Bosnian Serb Army Main Staff, who told him that his military commander Ratko Mladic had ordered that “all prisoners [from Srebrenica] be killed”.

The Tribunal sentenced Beara to life imprisonment for the Srebrenica genocide but an appeal is currently under way. Mladic is also on trial for genocide and other crimes.

Maksida Piric, the spokesperson for the Bosnian Electoral Commission, told local media on Thursday that despite the indictment, there is no legal way to take away Vasic’s mandate.

She explained that only people who are serving sentences or are wanted under warrants can be denied mandates according to electoral law.

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Srebrenica: Genocide Reconstructed

In July 1995 Srebrenica was shelled and occupied by the Army of Republic of Srpska,VRS, despite being declared a protected area by the United Nations. More than 7,000 people were killed, the victims of genocide.

Ratko Mladic: The Force Behind the Srebrenica Killings

The Bosnian Serb commander’s role in the genocide committed in Srebrenica is described in detail in many indictments and verdicts pronounced before local and international judicial institutions.

The Indictment Against Ratko Mladic

Indictments in 1995 and 2000, further amended in 2002 and 2010, charge the former commander of the Republika Srpska Army with genocide and other crimes.

Ratko Mladic: From Promising Officer to Bloodstained Warlord

When Mladic ordered his army to bomb the people of Sarajevo until they ‘go insane’, he revealed the murderous intentions that would culminate in the Srebrenica massacre.

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