Bosnian Prosecutors Indict Croats for War Crimes

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Prosecutor’s Office filed indictments against nine former HVO members.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed charges on Friday against nine former commanders and members of the HVO (Croatian forces during the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina) for war crimes against captured Serbs in the ​​Orašje area in northern Bosnia, reports Jutarnji List December 30, 2016.

They were arrested in late October, and eight of them spend a month in custody. After that, they were released, but had to remain in their places of residence and their travel documents were seized.

The arrest caused strained relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, after numerous Croatian officials protested against the detention of the suspects, despite the fact that they were accessible at all times to judicial authorities of the neighbouring country.

First on the list of the indicted persons is retired General Đuro Matuzović, who was the commander of the Orašje Military District during the war. Indictments were also issued against Ivo Oršolić, Tado Oršolić, Marko Dominković, Joso Nedić, Marko Blažanović, Mate Živković, Ante Živković, and Stjepo Đurić. All the accused have Croatian citizenship.

The indictment alleges that “from the second half of April 1992 to July 1993, during an international armed conflict that took place in the broader area of Orašje, as members of HVO structures in Orašje and as members of military police and regular police, as well as guards in camps and detention centres at the Orašje High School and at Donja Mahala Elementary School, they committing war crimes against a large number of victims of Serbian nationality from the area of Orašje and surrounding areas”.

They are charged to have participated in the persecution of the Serbian population from Orašje on national, ethnic, cultural and religious grounds, and for committing serious violations of international humanitarian law, and have therefore committed the criminal offense of crimes against humanity.

If the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirms the indictment, prosecutors will try to prove the guilt of the accused by calling 142 witnesses and experts, and by presenting extensive documentary evidence.


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