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Bosnia court begins war crimes trial of ex-justice minister

[JURIST] The War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [HRW backgrounder] Monday began the trial [press release] of Momcilo Mandic [US DOS backgrounder], a former interior minister and then justice minister in the Bosnian Serb government of Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder] from 1992-95. Mandic pleaded not guilty in July to charges [JURIST reports] of war crimes, crimes against humanity, embezzlement and fraud. Mandic was charged in connection with his efforts to offer Karadzic financial support while in hiding and Mandic's management of correctional facilities in the Serb-controlled area of Bosnia, which allegedly illegally imprisoned many non-Serbs. Officials arrested Mandic [JURIST report] in August 2005.

Karadzic and former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] are wanted by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] for alleged crimes committed during Bosnia's 1992-95 civil war, including organizing the 1995 slaughter of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica [JURIST news archive]. Reuters has more.

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