News 27 Nov 12

Bosnia: Visegrad War Crimes Trial Starts

The trial of three Bosnian Serbs, Predrag Milisavljevic, Milos Pantelic and Ljubomir Tasic charged with war crimes in Visegrad in June 1992 began with the opening arguments by the prosecution and the defence.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

Predrag Milisavljevic known as “Dragan”, Milos “Panta” Pantelic and Ljubomir Tasic known as “Ljupko”, are all charged with taking part in murders, forced expulsion of population, imprisonment, torture, forced disappearances and other inhuman acts against Bosniak civilians between April and June 1992.

According to the indictment Milisavljevic and Pantelic were reserve policemen and Tasic was a Bosnian Serb army soldier.

The prosecutor, Dzevad Muratbegovic, said he would prove the claims contained in the indictment by examining around 30 witnesses and presenting material evidence.

“The witnesses will talk about the existence of crisis headquarters, about arming of the Serb population by the Yugoslav People’s Army… activities of paramilitaries, illegal imprisonment, beatings in the Orahovci School, as well as expulsion of Bosniak population,” said Muratbegovic.

Milisavljevic and Pantelic are charged with taking part in the murder of several dozen Bosniaks by the Paklenik pit (in the Sokolac municipality).

One of the men, said Muratbegovic, avoided being executed by fleeing into the woods.

Milisavljevic, Pantelic and Tasic are also charged with forced expulsion of over 500 Bosniak civilians from the territory of Visegrad.

Milisavljevic is charged with sexually abusing men in the police station in Visegrad.

The defendant denied these claim at the beginning of the trial, claiming he “has always been sexually inclined towards women.”

In their opening remarks, the defence teams said that their clients did not commit acts they are being charged with and that they would prove their innocence.

The trial will continue on December 4, when the first prosecution witness will be examined.

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Background

Timeline – Cuska Case

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

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