Suspected Bosnian war criminals nabbed

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Two Bosnians suspected of committing war crimes against civilians during the Serbian/Bosnian war in the nineties were arrested in Spijkenisse and Heumen this morning.

The arrest was at the request of the Bosnia and Herzegovina; a press release from the Prosecutor’s Office of The Hague characterizes them as ruthless individuals who were involved in the torture and murder of people of Serbian background in the Balkans.

The man who was held in Spijkenisse is a 43-year-old former member of the 103rd Brigade of the Bosnian Croat army. He has Bosnian nationality. The request for his extradition states that in June 1992 he served as camp commander in the Derventa region, where Serbian civilians were imprisoned in a school.

“He was involved in the murder, torture as well as the physic and psychological mistreatment of the civilians; he once accused a prisoner of trying to escape after which the prisoner was shot dead with an automatic weapons. Others were forced to view the dead body,” it states. Beatings with gun butts were norm, prisoners’ teeth were kicked out with military boots and cigarettes were extinguished on their bodies. The commander also once ordered the prisoners to hand in all their gold, money, watches and other valuables.

 Of the 52-year-old man who was held in Heumen the prosecutor’s office says that he has Dutch and Bosnian nationalities. Together with an armed group, he killed a resident of the Bosnian village of Beslagici; the group had opened fire on the man’s house, forcing him to run out where they shot him. They then burned the house down. A woman and daughter who lived next door managed to jump out of a window and escape.

The Prosecutor’s Office said the extradition request will soon be tabled by the court in The Hague.