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Bosnia war crimes court issues custody order for Srebrenica massacre suspect

[JURIST] The War Crimes Chamber [HRW backgrounder] of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday issued a custody order [press release] for a former Bosnian Serb special police officer suspected of involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC timeline, JURIST news archive]. Vaso Todorovic is accused of genocide stemming from the detention and murder of 1,000 Muslim men within the UN-protected zone of Srebrenica; he is also alleged to have participated in the forced relocation of over 25,000 Muslim women and children. The court issued the custody order after finding that Todorovic is a flight risk and may "hinder the criminal proceedings by influencing witnesses, accessories, or accomplices." The order expires on May 7.

In February, new International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz reiterated his commitment [JURIST report] to arresting accused Srebrenica masterminds Ratko Mladic [BBC profile; ICTY indictment] and Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile; ICTY indictment]. The War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] was set up to alleviate the caseload of the ICTY, and will continue to hear cases as the ICTY winds down in 2010. Reuters has more.

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