News 27 Sep 12

Indictment for Kosovo Crimes Extended

The Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment against one more member of the Jackals paramilitary unit for the crimes committed in Kosovo in 1999.

Marija Ristic
BIRN
Belgrade

The War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment against Dejan “Bula” Bulatovic for war crimes committed against ethnic Albanian civilians in the villages of Cuska, Ljubenic and Zahac in Kosovo, on April 1 and May 14, 1999.

The prosecutor, Dragoljub Stankovic, added that the existing indictment for crimes in the village of Cuska has been extended.

“The new indictment charges everyone except Toplica Miladinovic and Zvonimir Cvetkovic, beside committing the crime in the village of Cuska, with being responsible for crimes committed in the villages of Zahac and Ljubenic,“ said Stankovic.

The indictment filed on September 10, 2010, charges Toplica Miladinovic, Srecko Popovic, Slavisa Kastratovic, Boban Bogicevic, Zvonimir Cvetkovic, Radoslav Brnovićc, Vidoje Koricanin, Veljko Koricanin, Abdulah Sokic, Milojko Nikolic, Zoran Obradovic and Ranko Momic, as members of the paramilitary unit Jackals, territorial defence and police reserve make-up, with killing at least 44 Albanian civilians on May 14, 1999, in the village of Cuska in Kosovo.

According to the indictment, the Jackals attacked the village of Cuska in order to spread fear among the Albanian villagers and force them to leave their homes and move to Albania.

The prosecutor said that Bulatovic was charged with killing three civilians in Cuska.

“Together with the defendants Popovic and Obradovic he separated a group of 10 civilians, took them to the home of Sahit Gashi, then opened fire at them from a machinegun. A single civilian survived, while the bodies of nine people were gathered on a heap, covered with mattresses and a blanket, and set on fire, together with the whole house,” explained Stankovic. 

The indictment extended on September 27 specifies that members of the Jackals killed least 43 civilians in the village of Ljubenic, while they inflicted severe bodily harm on 12 civilians.

The defendants also killed four civilians on May 14 in the village of Zahac, and then robbed the villagers.

The prosecutor proposed that this case be merged with the Cuska case, since it is the same event and the same criminal act that Toplica Miladinovic et al are already being tried for, while he issued Bulatovic with the ban to leave his place of residence without the court’s approval.

The defendants will enter their plea on the extended indictment at the next main hearing scheduled for October 29.

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Background

Timeline: Cases for War Crimes in Pec Villages

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlan in Kosovo in 1999.

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