Bosnia-Herzegovina indicts 24 over war crimes committed during Yugoslavia breakup News
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Bosnia-Herzegovina indicts 24 over war crimes committed during Yugoslavia breakup

The Bosnian Prosecutor’s Office Friday indicted 24 people in five separate indictments for various charges involving crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The first indictment was filed on December 29 against six people for crimes against humanity committed in 1992 in the city of Prijedor. The accused were employed as guards in camps established in the city by crisis staff in the wake of the Bosnian war. The accused were allegedly involved in “persecution on a discriminatory basis, based on national, political and religious affiliation.” They were charged with the offense of crimes against humanity under Article 172 of the Bosnian criminal code. The minimum punishment under the article is imprisonment for ten years.

The second indictment was filed against Robert Brešić, currently living in Croatia. He is accused of violating the Geneva Conventions on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War. Brešić was part of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO), the military wing of the unrecognized Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia. Brešić is accused of murdering two civilians—a father and his son—in Maglaj, northern Bosnia.

The third indictment was filed against a Bosnian citizen, Mustafa Gegaj.  Gegaj is accused of “inflicting permanent physical and psychological injuries” on nine ethnic Serbians including a minor girl when he was the security officer of a brigade in the Bosnian army. He is charged under Article 142 of the Yugoslavian criminal code which penalizes war crimes against civilians with a minimum punishment of imprisonment for five years.

The fourth indictment was filed against Elvis Đurić, who is a dual citizen of Bosnia and Serbia. Đurić is accused of participating in attacks against Bosniak civilians in the Vlasenica area in 1992. He is charged under Article 172 of the Bosnian criminal code and violating the Geneva Convention.

The fifth and largest indictment was filed against 15 people for war crimes against prisoners of war and crimes against humanity committed in the Banja Luka Military-Investigative Prison between 1992 and 1995. The accused worked in the facility as manager, deputy manager and guard. They were allegedly involved in “illegal imprisonment, beatings, keeping in inhumane conditions, abuse, sexual abuse and other inhuman acts” against more than a dozen victims. Some of the purported beatings resulted in death.