Bosnian Serb general goes on trial for genocide
THE HAGUE (AFP) – Bosnian Serb ex-general Zdravko Tolimir went on trial on Friday, facing genocide and war crime charges for the deaths of thousands of Muslims in 1995.
“This case is about Zdravko Tolimir’s choice to forsake his duty to abide by the rules of war in pursuit of a mono-ethnic Serb state,” prosecutor Nelson Thayer told judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.
The prosecutor said Tolimir took part in an “unrelenting plan” to expel the Muslim population from the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, “by making their lives so unbearable that they had no hope for survival there”.
The court was also told that “he assisted, supervised and authorised the organised detention, execution and burial of thousands of Muslim men and boys.”
The 61-year-old Tolimir was one of seven deputy commanders to wartime Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic — who is still wanted by the tribunal 15 years after he was indicted.
The former general was arrested in Bosnia-Hercegovina on May 31, 2007, is accused of committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity between July and November 1995.
This includes the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
The prosecution accuses Tolimir of having the “intent to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslim people as a national, ethnical or religious group”.
He was responsible for intelligence and security for the Bosnian Serb army at the time.
Bosnia: Three Genocide Suspects Arrested
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina suspects that the three men, as members of the 10th Reconnaissance Squad with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, “were direct executors of the shooting and killing of Bosniak men and boys” and participated in the murder of more than 1,000 victims after the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995.
According to the State Prosecution’s announcement, the suspects were arrested at various locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also says that Stanko Savanovic was registered under the name of Stanko Kojic.
Until now, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sentenced six former members of the Second Special Police Squad from Sekovici to a total of 181 years in prison “for having assisted in the commission of genocide” in Srebrenica. The State Court has also rendered a first instance verdict sentencing Milorad Trbic to 30 years in prison for genocide committed in Srebrenica.