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18 November 2015

Bosnia Arrests Six for Kotor-Varos Mass Persecution

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Six former Bosnian Serb soldiers were arrested for persecuting about 5,000 Bosniaks and Croats in Kotor-Varos, including involvement in torturing and killing at least 300 of them.
Bosnia’s State Investigation and Protection Agency on Wednesday arrested ex-soldiers Slobodan Zupljanin, Bosko Peulic, Aleksandar Petrovic, Manojlo Tepic, Janko Trivic and Nedeljko Djekanovic in Banja Luka, Kotor-Varos and Prnjavor.

They are suspected of persecuting about 5,000 Bosniaks and Croats from Kotor-Varos in 1992.

As part of the persecution, at least 300 people were tortured and killed, while victims were also abused, raped, unlawful detained and robbed, amongst other alleged crimes.

The prosecution said the suspects were wartime commanders of brigades and battalions in the Bosnian Serb Army.

“The crimes resulted in the persecution of almost the entire Bosniak and Croat population in Kotor-Varos, who have not returned to their pre-war homes today and live scattered across the world,” said prosecution spokesperson Boris Grubesic.

The investigation in the case was opened by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which then referred it to the Bosnian state prosecution for further processing.

The state prosecution said the police operation was launched after several months of work and under the strictest security measures, because it was believed that some of the former troops possessed weapons.

Some of those arrested Serbian citizenship are among those arrested, so the prosecution will request custody remands for several of them, it said.
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