Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 20:36 pm (KSA) 17:36 pm (GMT)

3 jailed for war crimes against Muslims in Bosnia

A cemetery in Prijedor, Bosnia (File)
A cemetery in Prijedor, Bosnia (File)

Two former Bosnian Serb soldiers and a former Croat policeman were jailed on Tuesday for war crimes against Muslim civilians during the country's 1992-1995 war, as Bosnia's Serb Prime Minister accused prosecutors of only targeting Serbs.

Mirko Todorovic, 53, and Milos Radic, 48, were each sentenced to 17 years in jail for the execution of seven Muslims near the eastern town of Bratunac in May 1992, the Court of Bosnia-Hercegovina said in a statement.

Bosnian Serb soldiers captured 14 civilians who were fleeing and shot dead seven of them.

In mid-1992, Serb forces captured large swathes of Bosnia including Bratunac, killing many and forcing the region's majority Muslims out of their homes as part of a campaign of "ethnic cleansing."

In a separate case, Pasko Ljubicic, 42, a former Bosnian Croat militia commander, was jailed for 10 years after pleading guilty to taking part in the massacre of more than 100 Muslim civilians in the village of Ahmici, in central Bosnia.

Ljubicic commanded a military police battalion that carried out the attack on Ahmici in April 1993. His case was transferred in 2006 from the UN war crimes court in The Hague to the local judiciary.

Local Bosnian authorities try low-profile war crimes cases, while the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is tasked with hearing cases involving top wartime officials.

Bosnian Serb forces backed by the army laid siege to Sarajevo for much of the war. According to human rights organizations, some 12,000 civilians, including 1,500 children were killed during the siege.

According to an independent survey, Bosnia's war between Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives, while some 2.2 million people, more than half of the population, fled their homes.

Serb accusations

Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik accused a Bosnian state court and prosecutors of only targeting Serbs for war crimes.

Dodik meanwhile said it was unacceptable that the court has "not yet processed any of those responsible" for an attack in Sarajevo at the outbreak of the war.

In an ambush, Bosnian Muslim forces killed 35 members of the Belgrade-controlled Yugoslav army.

That is "another confirmation that the Bosnian court and the prosecution are a political institution with the aim of punishing only one people -- Serb people," he said in a statement.

In May 1992, 35 soldiers were killed and 47 injured in the attack on the Yugoslav army convoy that was pulling out of Sarajevo. Some 170 soldiers were taken prisoner.

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