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ICTY begins joint war crimes trial of Bosnian Serb cousins

[JURIST] A pair of Bosnian Serb cousins went to trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; press briefing] Wednesday on charges of murder, extermination and torture. Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic [indictment; case backgrounder, PDF] are accused of crimes against humanity related to their actions as part of a paramilitary unit during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, including several incidents in which the cousins allegedly locked Muslims in burning buildings. AP has more.

In 2005, Milan Lukic was arrested [JURIST report] in Argentina. Earlier that year, he was convicted in absentia [JURIST report] by a Serbian war crimes court for his role in the 1993 abduction and killing of 20 Bosnian Muslims. In 2007, the ICTY announced it would conduct a joint trial of the Lukic cousins, revoking a planned referral [press release] of Sredoje's case to the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [JURIST news archive]. The Bosnian War Crimes Chamber was established [JURIST report] in March 2005 to ease the backlog of the ICTY, which is currently trying to complete all its work by 2010.

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