Serbian prosecutors charged two Serbs with committing war crimes in Tenja, in eastern Croatia, on Friday.
The indictment alleges Boza Vidakovic and Zarko Cubrilo, both member of Serb territorial defence units, with committing war crimes against a prisoner of war and 18 civilians between July 7 and August 1991 in Tenja, Croatia.
Vidakovic allegedly killed one prisoner-of-war, a member of the Croatian Police, in the Partizan cinema, shooting him in the head and in the back.
According to the indictment, Vidakovic also unlawfully detained seven Croats civilians and handed them over to unknown persons who then killed them all. The bodies were later found at Betin Dvor in Croatia and exhumed in February 1998.
Cubrilo is charged with the illegal detention and murder of 11 civilians near Bobota. With the help of other two members of the Territorial Defence. The bodies of the victims have never been found.
Vidakovic and Cubrilo have been in custody in Serbia from August 10 last year and the prosecution will propose an extension of their detention.
This will be the first case entirely conducted on the basis of a new Law on Criminal Procedure that entered into force on January 16.
The law introduces the principle of prosecutorial investigations, allowing prosecutors and defence lawyers to take the lead in investigations. Previously, courts were obliged to collect evidence and guide the investigations.
The Tenja case was transferred from Croatia to Serbia on the basis of an agreement on cooperation and prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide signed between the prosecution offices of the two countries signed on October 13th in 2006.
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