Serbia hands over twins accused of Bosnia war crimes

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The net closed on more Balkans war crimes suspects yesterday when a pair of Bosnian Serb twins were flown to The Hague from Belgrade, and a former Bosnian Croat military police chief surrendered to police in Croatia.

The net closed on more Balkans war crimes suspects yesterday when a pair of Bosnian Serb twins were flown to The Hague from Belgrade, and a former Bosnian Croat military police chief surrendered to police in Croatia.

The United Nations war crimes tribunal praised the Serbian authorities, who handed over their suspects yesterday. The Croatian government is expected to follow suit as soon as legal formalities have been completed.

The Bosnian twins, 32-year-old Predrag and Nenad Banovic, are accused of beating and murdering detainees while they worked as guards at the Keraterm prison camp in the Prijedor region of north-western Bosnia. The camp's former commander, Dusko Sikirica, will be sentenced next week in The Hague.

According to the indictment the twins were involved in beatings which "occurred frequently over a period lasting approximately 10 or more days". It adds that "the corpses of detainees were piled next to a garbage area" where they were left to rot in view of other inmates.

The extradition ends a long saga for the tribunal. In 1998 twin brothers thought to be the Banovics were flown to The Hague but had to be released when it emerged that their identify had been mistaken.

Jim Landale, a spokesman for the tribunal said: "We welcome this development and hope that it will be followed by other concrete signs of co-operation from the Serbian authorities."

In Zagreb a former police chief, Pasko Ljubicic, 35, surrendered to the authorities after more than a year on the run. The Hague tribunal made its indictment against Mr Ljubicic public last week.

It accuses him of commanding Bosnian Croat militias that killed at least 113 Muslims in and around the Bosnian village of Ahmici in April 1993. Dozens of women and children were among the dead.

Meanwhile the former general Ante Gotovina, who is also wanted by the court in The Hague, has almost certainly fled the country, Croatia's Deputy Prime Minister, Goran Granic, said his departure had been established with a "very high level of certainty".

Comments