Former Bosnian fighters to stand trial for war crimes
Former Bosniak fighters accused of war crimes against prisoners in the 1990s went on trial in Sarajevo in a case that has revived memories of bitter ethnic warfare in the region.
The five men, who held positions of varying degrees of authority in the Bosnian Army, were said to have beaten and broken the bones of Serbian prisoners of war between 1992 and 1994. An indictment says the men caused severe physical and mental harm to their victims on a regular basis in detention facilities.
The body of one prisoner – presumed dead – has never been found. Another died in detention.
After the EU all but suspended the accession process for North Macedonia and Albania at a summit last month, the peace settlement that has stood for 20 years faced new doubts. Relations between Bosnian and Serb-run enclaves have deteriorated with the rise of new strains of nationalist politics.
Prosecution witnesses are expected to give evidence on December 2.
Among those standing trial are Camil Ramic, a former commander in the Visegrad Brigade of the Bosnian Army, and Mehmedalija Topalovic, who was a soldier. Mr Ramic is accused of failing to prevent or punish those below him who abused prisoners.
Himzo Selimovic was an officer in the eastern Bosnian forces accused of assaulting prisoners under integration and Ramiz Micivoda was a local police chief. They were joined by Mehmed Dobraca, another former Bosnian security official.
About 100 witnesses are expected to give evidence.