News 08 Jan 13

Bosnia Launches New War Crimes Indictments

Bosnia’s regional prosecutors have made a prompt start to the year by pressing ahead with three new war crimes cases.

Denis Dzidic
BIRN
Sarajevo

After a review of the remaining war crimes cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina was carried out last year, all of the less complex cases – some 600 of them – were sent to be prosecuted in the country’s lower-level cantonal and district courts.

Prosecutors have already started acting upon them and in the past few days several indictments have been raised over alleged war crimes committed in the Kakanj, Visoko and Cazin regions. 

The cantonal prosecutor in Zenica filed indictments for crimes in Kakanj and Visoko, near the capital Sarajevo.

Jasmin Sehagic, the former manager of a detention facility at the head office of Kakanj’s coal mine, is charged with having participated in the beating of Bosnian Croat prisoners and having failed to prevent other people from doing it or reporting them to his superiors.

According to the charges, Segahic, accompanied by Bosnian Army military police officers, participated in the abuse of prisoners by hitting, kicking and beating them with batons and cables from June 1992 to September 1993.

The indictment alleges that he also allowed unknown soldiers to circumcise one detainee against his will.

The second indictment brought by the prosecutor in Zenica charges a man identified only by the initials A.K. with the rape of a Bosnian Serb woman in the Visoko area.

The prosecutor alleges that in June 1992, A.K., a former Bosnian Army serviceman, took a woman from a house to a nearby hill and forced her to have sex with him.

Meanwhile, the cantonal prosecutor in Bihac in northern Bosnia has raised an indictment against ex-soldier Redzep Beganovic for war crimes against civilians in the Cazin area. 

Beganovic, a former member of the local armed forces in the Western Bosnia Autonomous Region – a self-proclaimed Bosniak statelet which existed between 1993 and 1995 – is charged with abusing civilians and attempting to rape a minor.

According to the charges, Beganovic forcibly took two minors from their house and drove them to the village of Trzac, where he attempted to rape one of them before being stopped by other soldiers.

Beganovic is to enter his plea at a later stage.

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