Following the questioning of the suspects, the Prosecutor in charge of the case will put forward a Motion with the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina seeking the measure of custody to be ordered against all of the eight suspects, who were deprived of liberty yesterday.
Custody will be proposed for the reasons set forth in Article 132, item b) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely, due to the danger that, if at large, the suspects might hinder the inquiry, conceal evidence and influence witnesses or accessories.
The suspects in this case are under investigation due to the commission of the criminal offence of War Crimes against Prisoners of War, as referred to in Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the commission of the criminal offence of War Crimes against Civilian Population, as referred to in Article 173 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina resumes its intensive investigation in this case.
The suspects are charged with war crimes against prisoners of war and war crimes against civilian population, which were committed by killing at least twelve (12) captured members of Croatian Defence Council (HVO) from Šafradin who had previously surrendered and laid down their arms, as well as by killing two women of Croatian ethnicity, on 22 December 1993.
Acting upon the order of a Prosecutor from the Special Department for War Crimes, police officers of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) located and deprived of liberty the following suspects:
Ibrahim Purić aka ”Ibro”, born in 1953 in Dolac, Ibrahim Tarahija, born in 1959 in Vitez, Nijaz Sivro, born in 1957 in Vitez, Rušit Nurković, born in 1958 in Seošnica, Montenegro, Almir Sarajlić aka “Roki”, born in 1968 in Travnik, Šaćir Omanović, born in 1973 in Vitez, Kasim Kavazović, born in 1972 in Travnik, and Sadik Omanović, born in 1968 in Vitez.
These suspects are subject to investigation and they are charged with acting in violation of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions relative to the protection of prisoners of war and civilian persons in time of war, during the war and armed conflict between the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the HVO, while they were commanders and members of the RBiH Army from the territory of Central Bosnia and Vitez.
They are suspected of war crimes committed against victims of Croatian ethnicity at the locations of Križančevo Selo, Šafradin and Dubravica, where, on 22 December 1993, at least twelve (12) captured HVO members who had previously surrendered were killed, as well as two (2) civilian persons-women of Croatian ethnicity, and property was plundered and destroyed.
Bodies of the killed persons were exchanged forty (40) days after the commission of the crime, and the mortal remains showed signs of mistreatment and cutting-off of body parts.
Moreover, some of the suspects, being the Commanders of the ARBiH units, are charged with participating directly in the commission of the aforementioned crimes and with omitting to undertake actions to prevent those crimes and prosecute and punish the perpetrators thereof.
In the course of the deprivation of liberty, facilities used by the suspects were also searched and certain documentation was found in relation to the aforementioned events, which can result in the extension of investigation in this case.
The aforementioned war crime represents one of the greatest sufferings of the victims of Croatian ethnicity in the area of Vitez and its surroundings in the past war, where several dozen victims were killed during the attack, and property was plundered and destroyed.
These suspects are charged with the commission of the criminal offence of War Crimes against Prisoners of War, as referred to in Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with the criminal offence of War Crimes against Civilian Population, as referred to in Article 173 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Having questioned the suspects, the Prosecutor in charge of the case will make a decision regarding further activities in this case.