The UN war crimes court gave the green light for the local judiciary to process the case, FENA news agency reported on Saturday.
Former members of the Muslim-led Bosnian army Mustafa Hota and Enes Sakraka were arrested Friday in Sarajevo upon request from the country prosecutor’s office. They are suspected of war crimes against Croats in the village of Grabovica in southern Bosnia in September 1993, police said.
Both were soldiers in the ninth motorised brigade of the Bosnian army.
Army chief indicted
Bosnian courts may conduct war crimes trials only after approval from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) under procedures established to try and eliminate biased trials in the ethnically divided country and to disburden the ICTY.
Muslims and Croats fought each other for 11 months in 1993 and 1994.
The ICTY has indicted former Bosnian army chief general Safer Halilovic of war crimes for the 1993 massacre of 62 Croat civilians in Grabovica and Uzdol.
According to his indictment Muslim forces killed 33 Bosnian Croat civilians in Grabovica during a Bosnian army offensive aimed at pushing out Bosnian Croat troops in the region of Neretva river.
Formerly allies against their common Serbian enemy, Bosnian Muslims and Croats fought each other for 11 months in 1993 and 1994 as Zagreb tried to take advantage of Muslim weakness.
Both Hota and Sakraka are mentioned in the ICTY’s indictment of Halilovic. Hota was charged with killing a married couple, Pero Maric and his wife Dragica, while Sakraka is suspected of killing a woman and a child.
Halilovic surrendered to the court in 2001 and was provisionally released pending trial.