11. June 2008.

Bosnian Muslims welcome Zupljanin’s arrest and some facts about Stojan Zupljanin

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Agence France Presse

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

SARAJEVO, Bosnia – Bosnian Muslims welcomed the arrest Wednesday of top war crimes suspect Stojan Zupljanin as a possible sign of Serbia’s readiness to extradite remaining fugitives.

“His arrest is a step in the right direction,” the Muslim chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, Haris Silajdzic, said in a statement.

Belgrade now had to arrest wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Ratko Mladic, both accused of war crimes and genocide during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, he added.

Murat Tahirovic, head of an association of former inmates of Serb-run prison camps in Bosnia, said he hoped Zupljanin’s arrest was a sign that Belgrade accepted “it had to get rid of those most responsible for war crimes.”

“I hope that Serbia finally understood it has to remove that burden from its shoulders … and that the arrest of Karadzic and Mladic will follow soon,” Tahirovic told AFP.

Zupljanin, 56, was a former aide to Karadzic, who remains at large along with Mladic and another UN war crimes tribunal indictee, Goran Hadzic, wartime president of the self-proclaimed Croatian Serb republic of Krajina.

Arrested near Belgrade, he faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged central role in the hostilities and the destruction of the Muslim and Croat communities in northwestern Bosnia.

Thousands of non-Serbs were held in horrific conditions in Serb-run camps during the Bosnian war. Many did not survive, and around the northwestern town of Prijedor alone, more than 1,500 people were murdered in three notorious camps.

Karadzic is believed to be hiding in the Serb-run part of Bosnia and neighbouring Montenegro while Mladic is believed to be in Serbia.

© Agence France Presse 2008

Factbox: Stojan Zupljanin

Reuters

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wartime Bosnian Serb security chief Stojan Zupljanin was arrested on Wednesday and will be sent to the United Nations tribunal in The Hague for trial on charges of war crimes, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said.

Here are some details about him:

Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sept. 1951, he graduated in Law from the University of Sarajevo. In 1975 he joined the Secretariat of Internal Affairs (SUP) in Banja Luka. In 1985, he became Chief of the Department for the Prevention of General Crime in Banja Luka.

Zupljanin was in command of the Regional Security Services Centre of Banja Luka (CSB) and in 1994, he became Internal Affairs Adviser to the President of Republika Srpska.

Zupljanin was charged in 1999 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with crimes against Muslims and Croats in a western area of Bosnia known as Bosanska Krajina early in the 1992-95 Bosnian war. The indictment was made public in 2001.

Zupljanin was indicted on 12 counts, including torture and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in ethnic cleansing by Serb forces in Bosnia.

Last January, Bosnia decided to freeze assets of the four remaining fugitives from the Hague-based court – Karadzic, his military chief Ratko Mladic, Zupljanin and Goran Hadzic.

In Dec. 2007, Zupljanin’s family urged the former police commander to “sacrifice” himself for the nation and turn himself in.

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