News 25 Oct 12

Serbia Presses Charges for Hiding ICTY Indictee

The Serbian prosecution has entered into a plea agreement with one of the helpers of the ICTY indictee and wartime high official of Republika Srpska, Stojan Zupljanin.

Marija Ristic

The Serbian Chief Prosecutor for War Crimes, Vladimir Vukcevic, has announced that a person with the initials V.L. had admitted to helping Zupljanin hide for six months.

According to Vukcevic, the agreed sentence for V.L. is six months in prison or two years on probation, a sentence which still needs to be confirmed by a court.

During the Bosnian war, Zupljanin was the head of the Regional Security Services Centre for the city of Banja Luka in  Republika Srpska, a Serb run entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina.  He was also an internal affairs advisor to the wartime Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadzic.

The Hague Tribunal is charging Zupljanin with persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, murder, torture, inhumane acts and the deportation of non-Serbs from Bosnia.

The prosecutor says that Zupljanin’s accomplices were captured thanks to a diary, written in a military code, which he kept while on the run and which was found in his apartment in the town of Nis in southern Serbia.  

So far, six of the people who have been charged with helping Zupljanin hide have entered into a plea agreement with the Serbian prosecution.

Following Zupljanin’s arrest in the town of Pancevo in Serbia 2008, Nikola Tepic, Koviljko Lovra, Mladjen Marjanovic, Vinka Marjanovic, Slobodan Koprivica and Milorad Koprivica have all been found guilty of helping to hide Zupljanin.

Discovering the network of people who helped ICTY indictees Zupljanin, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, hide is the last remaining issue between Serbia and the Hague Tribunal.

At the beginning of June, the ICTY’s Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz’s presented his biannual report to the UN Security Council and expressed concern regarding Serbia’s delay in identifying all those who helped them for so long.




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