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Nine Persons charged of War Crimes in Sokolac

The nine persons are charged that, during the war in BiH and the widespread and systematic attack by the Territorial Defence (TO), Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) and police, on the Bosniak civilian population in the area of Sokolac and its surroundings, they, as officials of civilian authorities, commanders and members of the VRS 2nd Romanian Motorised Brigade (2. rmtbr.), took part in a joint criminal enterprise and attacked the village of Novoseoci inhabited by Bosniaks, whose locals had previously surrendered their weapons and expressed loyalty to the local authorities in Sokolac.

The attack on the village of Novoseoci took place on 21/22 September 1992, when an old female individual, D.K., was killed when the army entered the village. After that women and children were separated from men and the women and children were taken to the bus to be transported to Sarajevo.

The accused, together with other soldiers, transported 44 captured Bosniak civilian men by military trucks to the dump in Ivan Polje, Sokolac municipality, where they brought the prisoners in two groups to the edge of the sinkhole, and killed a total of 44 civilians by shooting from their automatic weapons, while one of the VRS members killed the survivors by firing single gunshots form his pistol.

Forty-four civilians were killed at this site, including a large number of elderly people. The youngest victim was 14 and the oldest 85 years old. During the exhumation of the victims in 2000, the remains of 43 people were found, as well as a large number of rounds and bullets (178) in the bodies of the killed victims, which proves the cruelty of the murders.

Following the crime and murder, the local mosque in Novoseoci was demolished on 30 September 1992 and its remains were thrown into the dump where the victims were executed.

The accused are charged with the criminal offence of Crimes against Humanity under Article 172 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For the crime in Novoseoci, the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH is also conducting an investigation against the suspect Radislav Krstić, who was convicted at the ICTY in The Hague for genocide in Srebrenica and is serving his sentence.

Also, the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, together with partner institutions and agencies, undertook activities to locate a suspect who is in Canada, and contacts were made with the Canadian authorities and activities were taken to extradite the suspect to the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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