News 09 Jan 13

Croatia Indicts Serbian Wartime Commander

Prosecutors accuse Radenko Alavanja of war crimes against civilians after Serbian forces seized the Croatian town of Vukovar in 1991.

Boris Pavelic
Zagreb

Alavanja was indicted in absentia for allegedly not preventing his subordinates from killing and torturing civilian prisoners taken from Vukovar to the nearby village of Borovo Selo, where he was the wartime commander.

Fifteen civilians were killed and 21 more disappeared during the violence which lasted from November 18-22, 1991, the indictment said.

Thirty-one further civilians were tortured, two of whom were killed afterwards.

A warrant for Alavanja's arrest has been filed, although his whereabouts are unknown.

After a three-month siege, Serbian forces and the Yugoslav Army took Vukovar from Croatian forces on November 18, 1991.

Borovo Selo is a Serb-populated village which was a Serbian military stronghold during the Vukovar siege.

Twelve Croatian policemen were killed there on May 3, 1991, in a clash between Serbs and Croats which is seen by many as the beginning of the war in Croatia.

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