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Bosnia war crimes victims submit evidence against former Serbian officials

Bosnian war crimes victims on Thursday submitted evidence to the Prosecutors Office for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) [official website] accusing three former members of the Serbian Supreme Council of war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive]. Former Yugoslav presidents Zoran Lilic and Dobrica Cosic and the former president of Montenegro Momir Bulatovic have been accused of ordering an arms increase [AP report] for the Serbian army during the war in BiH. It is unclear whether the allegations, submitted by an association of Bosnian wartime camp inmates, will warrant charges to be filed against the three former Serbian leaders.

Last month, in an unprecedented civil decision, a French court awarded [JURIST report] a Bosnian family 200,000 euros (USD $280,000) for wartime abuses committed by former Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Biljana Plavsic [JURIST news archives]. The court's ruling may pave the way for victims of war crimes to obtain civil compensation from war criminals without a criminal trial. Karadzic faces 11 war crimes charges [indictment, PDF], including counts of genocide and murder, for alleged crimes he committed during the war in BiH. Karadzic is defending himself in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] and has denied all of the charges against him. After multiple suspensions [JURIST reports], Karadzic's trial is expected to last through 2012. In 2009, Plavsic was released [JURIST report] from a Swedish prison after serving two-thirds of her sentence for war crimes committed between July 1991 and December 1992. Plavsic voluntarily surrendered herself to the ICTY in 2001 and was sentenced to 11 years in a Swedish prison. The ICTY agreed to grant her release [JURIST report], citing good behavior and "substantial evidence of rehabilitation."

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