TWO SREBRENICA GENOCIDE SUSPECTS IN BOSNIAN CUSTODY
In Custody: Vaso Todorovic (40) and Zoran Tomic (37).
PHOTO: The Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Courtroom 6, back view (1st photo, up) and and front view (2nd photo, down).
The prosecutor of the war crimes chamber of Bosnia-Herzegovina's state court pressed charges Wednesday against Bosnian Serb Vaso Todorovic (40), suspected of genocide during the country's 1992-95 war, the court said in a statement.
According to statement, Todorovic, is suspected of being involved in the 1995 genocide in the former eastern Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) enclave of Srebrenica, in which Bosnian Serb troops massacred at least 8,000 and up to 10,000 Bosniak men (including hundreds of children) and forcibly expelled (ethnically cleansed) some 30,000 Bosniak women, children and elderly to leave their homes after capturing the area on July 11, 1995.
In his capacity as police officer of the Sekovici 2nd Detachment (of Bosnian Serb) Special Police Unit during the period from July 10 to 19, 1995, Todorovic is suspected together with others of participating "in the criminal action of extermination of Bosniak civilians within the UN protected zone of Srebrenica," the statement said.
He consciously participated in expelling and murdering thousands of Bosnian Muslims aimed at exterminating them from the area, the indictment said.
The indictment alleges that Todorovic participated in searching Bosniak houses in villages surrounding Srebrenica in order to expel them and transport them to a detention facility in the nearby Potocari village. He allegedly also participated in the detention of several thousand Bosniak men, who tried to escape Serb troops running through the woods. Once they were detained, Todorovic is believed to be among the guards preventing the detainees from escaping on their way to a detention facility in the village of Kravice, where they were later executed.
Todorovic was charged with genocide of the Bosniaks. Todorovic has been in the court's custody since early April this year.
Another Srebrenica genocide suspect, Zoran Tomic (37), is also in B&H custody. A former Bosnian Serb policeman suspected of helping in the wartime genocide of Bosniaks at Srebrenica was detained Tuesday, nearly 13 years later, prosecutors said.
Tomic was taken into custody near the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik under suspicion of Srebrenica genocide during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia's state Court said.
As a member of special police forces, Tomic is suspected of helping herd more than 1,000 Bosniaks to a detention place in Kravice, near Srebrenica, and of "taking part in the execution of detained male civilians" there, the prosecutor's office said.
Tomic - also known as Zgembo - is accused of genocide in Srebrenica in the period of July 10-19, 1995, the statement said. He is also suspected of finding houses to hold Bosnian Muslim civilians in Srebrenica for transport to the nearby village of Potocari.
After the war ended, Tomic worked for Bosnian Serb police. He was suspended last year due to his alleged involvement in the war crimes.
The Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina announcements:
Indictment in the Vaso Todorović case confirmedOn 3 June 2008, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) confirmed the Indictment against Vaso Todorović. Vaso Todorović is charged with the criminal offense of Genocide.
As alleged in the Indictment, there is grounded suspicion that the accused Vaso Todorović as a member of the Special Police of the 2nd Šekovići Detachment during the period from 10 July to 19 July 1995, with an intention to partially exterminate a group of Bosniak people, participated in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at forcible relocation of around 40 thousand civilians from the UN Protection Zone Srebrenica.
According to the Indictment, on 12 July 1995 the accused Todorović participated in the search of Bosniak villages around Potočari aiming to expel and force them to move to the territories controlled by the Army of RBiH. On 13 July 1995, as furtheralleged in the Indictment, the accused Todorović participated in capturing several thousand of Bosniak men who tried to escape from the UN Protection Zone and also participated in escorting a column of several hundred of captured Bosniaks from the village of Sandići to the warehouse of the Farming Cooperative in Kravica.
Having incarcerated the Bosniaks in the warehouse, members of the 2nd Detachment were killing them by firing from automatic weapons and throwing bombs. On that day the accused Todorović was on guard so that no detainees under attack would escape. [Source]
Zoran Tomić ordered into custodyOn 3 June 2008, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) issued a decision ordering suspect Zoran Tomić into one-month custody. Pursuant to the Decision, custody may last until 2 July 2008. Zoran Tomić is suspected of the criminal offense of Genocide.Based on evidence submitted with the motion to order custody, the Court concluded that there is grounded suspicion that the suspect Tomić, on 12 and 13 July 1995, as a member of the Special Police of the 2nd Šekovići Detachment, together with other members of the aforementioned Unit, participated in the capturing and killing of Bosniaks. The suspect Tomić, together with other members of the 2nd Detachment, with the intention to exterminate a group of Bosniaks, fired on them from his automatic rifle, while other members of the 2nd Detachment also shot from firearms and threw bombs at the captured civilians.Having reviewed the evidence submitted, the Court concluded that there was grounded suspicion that the suspect had committed the criminal offence in question. Further, the Court ordered custody having found the circumstances indicating the risk of flight on the part of the Suspect. In addition, the Court ordered custody considering that the Suspect, if released, might hinder the criminal proceedings by influencing witnesses and possible accomplices.
The Court specifically underlines the existence of reasonable fear that the Suspect might destroy or conceal pieces of documentary evidence or traces of the crime, particularly in view of the fact that mass graves where the bodies of the murdered persons were buried, have still not been located.
Mindful of the above, as well as the fact that the Suspect knows where the bodies were hidden, the Court concludes that there is reasonable fear that the accused, if at liberty, might make the locating of the aforementioned mass graves more difficult for the purpose of his own defense.Given the severity of the crime in question and its grave consequences in relation to the victims and their families, ordering Suspect Tomić into custody was necessary also for the reasons of public safety. [Source]