Bosnia war crimes court opens first genocide trial
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Bosnia’s war crimes court on Tuesday
launched the trial of 11 Bosnian Serbs charged over the 1995
Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, its first
genocide trial since it opened last year.
The former army officers and special policemen are accused
of killing over 1,000 Muslim men aged between 16 and 60 while
they were trying to escape the eastern United Nations-protected
enclave on July 13, 1995.
Prosecutor Ibro Bulic said 8 of the men fired their machine
guns at the prisoners, one threw hand grenades at them and
another reloaded the ammunition.
The victims were first buried in a nearby mass grave and
transferred to Glogova and Zeleni Jadar mass grave sites two
weeks later in order to hide the crime, Bulic said. Some bodies
were found after the 1992-95 war.
“The prosecution will ask the court to declare these men
guilty so that a small step toward meeting justice can be
made,” Bulic said in his introductory remarks.
Milenko Trifunovic, one of the men accused of firing his
machine gun, and Milos Stupar, commanders of two special police
squads engaged in the operation, were charged with individual
criminal responsibility for failing to intervene and protect
The 11 accused were arrested last year and all have pleaded
not guilty to the charges.
Their indictment brings to 36 the number of those charged
for the Srebrenica massacre, Europe’s worst atrocity since
World War Two.
The U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague has also charged
19 people for the massacre. Six have been convicted and nine
are on trial or awaiting trial.
The alleged masterminds, Bosnian Serb wartime leader
Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic,
remain at large nearly 11 years after being indicted.