Archive for Monday, June 26, 2000

War crimes suspect sent to tribunal

June 26, 2000

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— British peacekeepers arrested a leading Serb war crimes suspect and flew him Sunday to the Netherlands to stand trial on charges of massacring Muslim and Croat prisoners during the Bosnian war.

Dusko Sikirica, 36, was indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague in July 1995 for crimes against humanity, war crimes and other offenses.

Tribunal officials said he was expected to appear in court by Wednesday.

A NATO statement said he was arrested early Sunday. A statement by the British defense ministry confirmed the arrest was carried out by British soldiers at Sikirica's home in the Bosnian Serb town Prijedor.

The 1995 indictment said more than 3,000 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats were held at a former ceramics factory at Keraterm, where detainees "were killed, sexually assaulted, tortured, beaten and otherwise subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment."

In one incident, guards systematically machine-gunned inmates in one room in July 1992, the indictment said. When guards learned that a few prisoners had escaped the carnage, 20 detainees were selected and summarily executed, the indictment said.

The tribunal prosecution argued that as camp commander, Sikirica was responsible for all actions taken by his subordinates.

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