Former Bosnian Serb soldier Zeljko Novakovic will be tried for crimes against humanity for participating in the murders, torture and persecution of Bosniak civilians in villages in the Bosanski Novi area in 1992.
The Bosnian state court announced on Friday that it has confirmed an indictment charging Zeljko Novakovic with committing crimes against humanity during attacks on several Bosniak-populated villages in the north-western Bosanski Novi area between early May and September 1992.
Novakovic, who has both Bosnian and Serbian citizenship, is accused of having participated, in collaboration with others, in the murders, torture and persecution of the Bosniak civilian population in the two villages.
â€œWithin a widespread and systematic attack conducted by the army, police, Territorial Defence force, armed groups and paramilitary formations of the Serbian Forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which later became the Bosnian Serb Army, against the non-Serb civilian population in the municipality of Bosanski Novi, an armed attack was conducted on the civilian settlements of Donji Agici, Gornji Agici, Crna Rijeka, Suhaca, Hozici, Blagaj, Alici, Ekici and other settlements in the Japra valley, Urije and other places inhabited by Muslims,â€ the indictment alleges.
During the attack, civilian buildings were destroyed and non-Serb civilians were killed or expelled from their homes, which were set on fire and pillaged, says the indictment, which was confirmed in June but only announced by the court on Friday.
Men were taken away and detained at the Mlakve stadium and the fire station in Bosanski Novi, while more than 4,000 civilians were transferred to Doboj on a freight train, the indictment also claims.
It further alleges that the persecution continued with the deportation of at least 13,000 non-Serb civilians from the Bosanski Novi area.
The prosecution claims that Novakovic, as a member of the Serb Armed Forces, participated in the persecution of the non-Serb civilian population in Bosanski Novi on ethnic and religious grounds.
A separate trial of several other former fighters for crimes in the villages of Alici and Ekici is already underway.
The defendants are Ljuban Babic, Ranko Balaban, Rajko Karlica, Milenko Brcin, Mirko Odzic, Milenko Babic, Ratko Goronja, Nikola Reljic, Dragan and Ranko Baltic, Miroslav Kapetanovic and Ranko Grab.