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Bosnia police arrest 3 suspected in Srebrenica massacre

[JURIST] Police in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) arrested [press release, in Bosnian] three former Bosnian Serb policemen on Thursday on genocide charges related to the Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Dusko Jevic, Zoran Ilic, and Mendeljev Djuric were arrested in the northeastern town of Bijeljina after an investigation by the Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH [official website, in Bosnian] suggested their involvement in the July 1995 attack on Bosnian Muslims. The former members of the Bosnian Serb Interior Ministry are accused of committing genocide under sections 171 and 180 of the Bosnian Criminal Code [text, PDF]. While the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has jurisdiction over high level war crimes allegations, such as those against Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY materials; JURIST news archive] and General Ratko Mladic [ICTY materials], the BiH courts [official website, in Bosnian] can try lower level allegations.

On Wednesday, the ICTY resumed proceedings [JURIST report] against Karadzic on 11 charges [amended indictment, PDF], including genocide and murder, for war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian genocide [PPU backgrounder]. Karadzic denies all charges and boycotted the trial's opening day, though the ICTY announced that it would try Karadzic in absentia [JURIST report] if he failed to appear the second day. Earlier this month, the Court of BiH sentenced [JURIST report] former Bosnian Serb special police officer Vaso Todorovic [BiH backgrounder] to six years in prison for committing crimes against humanity. Last year, Bosnian police arrested [JURIST report] two other former police officers suspected of involvement in the Srebrenica massacre. During the 1995 forcible transfer of 40,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims) from a UN-protected area in Srebrenica to Potocari, Serbian forces allegedly summarily executed at least 7,000 Bosniak men between the ages of 13 and 17.

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