Bosnia court acquits two former policemen in Srebrenica massacre case

[JURIST] The war crimes court [official website] of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Wednesday acquitted [press release] two Serbian defendants of involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Dragan Neskovic and Zoran Ilic were charged with crimes against humanity for their role in the massacre at Srebrenica and other war crimes. In a press release, the court announced that the two men were acquitted because "it was not proven that they committed the crime they were charged with." Ilic was arrested [JURIST report] in 2009 with two other police officers for their alleged involvement in the massacre. While the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has jurisdiction over high-level war crimes allegations, such as those against Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive] and General Ratko Mladic [ICTY materials], the BiH courts have been able to try lower-level suspects.

BiH has been continuously prosecuting, convicting and sentencing those responsible for the killing during the massacre, and even those who left the country are being brought back to face charges. In June the country's war crimes court sentenced [JURIST report] four former Bosnian Serb soldiers [case materials, in Croatian] for their involvement in the 1995 massacre. In May US resident Dejan Radojkovic was deported [JURIST report] to BiH to stand trial before the country's court for his actions as a police commander in Srebrenica during the 1995 massacre. He was arrested in 2009 after it was revealed that he did not disclose his involvement in the conflict and his appeal was rejected in February. He was the second to be deported after his commanding officer, Nedjo Ikonic, was deported in 2010 [JURIST report]. A day earlier, the war crimes court convicted [JURIST report] Dusko Jevic and Mendeljev Djuric for taking part in the killing of 1,000 Muslim men during the massacre after it found that the two former Bosnian Serb police officers were guilty of aiding and abetting genocide. They had been indicted on genocide charges in January 2010 after being arrested [JURIST reports] in October 2009. In January the court also upheld the conviction [JURIST reports] and 31-year sentence of Radomir Vukovic for his part in the 1995 massacre.

 

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