Bosnian Serb admits to murder of Muslims

A Bosnian Serb has admitted sexually assaulting and murdering Muslim men held in a notorious Serb-run detention camp during the Bosnian war.

    Several mass graves, most of them of Muslims, have been uncovered across Bosnia.

    Ranco Cesic, 39, became the 16th war crimes suspect to plead guilty at a special hearing of the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, which has indicted about 77 people for atrocities committed during the Balkan wars of the early 1990s.

    “He entered a guilty plea on all 12 counts and the trial chamber entered a finding of guilt on all 12 counts,” said Jim Landale, spokesman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

    Cesic, who entered the Luka camp near Brcko in 1992, with the apparent authority of local police, confessed to shooting and beating 10 prisoners to death and forcing two Muslim brothers to perform sexual acts on each other at gunpoint in May 1992.

    "During the time Luka operated, the Serb authorities killed hundreds of Muslim and Croat detainees"


    Extract of indictment

    The camp was set up by Bosnian Serb forces in May 1992 as part of their campaign of genocide.

    Cesic was arrested in May 2002 and transferred to The Hague where he initially entered a not guilty plea in June 2002.

    “From about 7 May 1992 until early July 1992, Serb forces confined hundreds of Muslim and Croat men, and a few women, at Luka camp in inhumane conditions and under armed guard,” the indictment against Cesic said.

    “During the time Luka camp operated, the Serb authorities killed hundreds of Muslim and Croat detainees.”

    Cesic is expected to be sentenced in the coming months.

    Former Yuglosav leader at large
     
    Cesic's co-accused Coran Jelisic, who styled himself the "Serb Adolf Hitler", was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1999 for the murder and torture of Muslims at the Luka camp.

    Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic is currently on trial at the UN tribunal, but two other wartime leaders in Bosnia, Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic, remain at large.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


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