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Eight Bosnian Serbs indicted for wartime killing of 78 Bosnian Muslim civilians

16th Jul 2021

Nadine Osman

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has indicted eight former Bosnian Serb soldiers on May 21 for crimes against humanity over the murder of at least 78 Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) civilians during the 1992-95 war.

Ilija Krčmar, Boško Učanin, Svetislav Račić, Željko Bajić, Nikola Ćuk, Nikola Ćuk, Marinko Miljević, and Dragan Despot are accused of ‘persecuting the Bosniak civilian population based on national, ethnic and religious grounds with discriminatory intention, and of killing civilians in violation of the international law,’ the court said.

Prosecutors said the defendants had driven Bosniak civilians out of a school in the western village of Velagici, lined them up and shot dead at least 78 people in June 1992.

The victims’ bodies were transported by trucks and buried in a mass grave from which they were exhumed in 1996.

The 1992-1995 Bosnian war was marked by the persecution and killing of Croats and Bosniaks in territories the Bosnian Serbs had mapped out for their state.There were no comments from the suspects or their representatives. Some are now believed to be in Serbia.

In a separate incident, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have launched an investigation after a video emerged of an alleged sniper taking shots during the almost four-year-long siege of Sarajevo.

The footage, posted by French journalist Philippe Buffon on YouTube last month, appeared to show Bosnian Serb fighters hiding in a house in the suburbs of Sarajevo.
One of them could be seen firing a sniper’s rifle and boasting that he hit someone “in the head.”

“The case was opened immediately after the videos appeared on the internet portals. All the circumstances and the role of all persons recorded on the recording will be examined,” announced the Prosecutor’s Office.

The office said its Special Department for War Crimes will examine “all the circumstances and the role of all the people in the recording.”

The local telecommunications company Telemach said it had contacted prosecutors after one of its employees was recognized in the video. It said the employee had been suspended.

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