The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed a war crimes indictment Tuesday against six former civilian officials and Bosnian Serb military commanders charged with killing more than three hundred Croats and Bosniaks and for persecuting more than twenty thousand non-Serb ethnicities in the Kotor-Varoš municipality.
The indictment was filed against Boško Peulić (68), Slobodan Župljanin (58), Aleksandar Petrović (45), Manojla Tepić (55), Janko Trivić (66) and Nedeljko Đekanović (57).
The Prosecution of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) opened an investigation into mass war crimes committed in the Kotor-Varoši area and subsequently handed it over to the judicial bodies in BiH.
After the investigation was completed, an indictment stating that the accused were responsible for crimes against humanity committed by June 1992. to the middle of 1994. within the widespread and systematic attack of the Bosnian Serb army and police directed against the non-Serb civilian population.
Nedeljko Đekanović was then the mayor of the municipality and head of the crisis staff, Boško Peulić served as the commander of the Tactical Team of the Bosnian Serb Army, Slobodan Župljanin was the commander of the battalion, Aleksandar Petrović, the commanding officer as well as Janko Trivić, and Manojlo Tepić, commander of the municipal staff of the then territorial defense
The indictment states that they co-ordinated, administered and supervised the operations of the military and police forces with the common goal of persecuting the Bosniak and Croat population in the area of Kotor-Varoš.
As military commanders, they were charged with participating in the joint criminal enterprise, or on persecution on the national and religious grounds for the killings, deportation and forcible displacement of the population.
Among the twenty-thousand displaced persons of Bosniak and Croat nationality from Kotor-Varoš there were children and women.
The persistence of these persecution is the fact that, even twenty years after the war, only a small number of Croats and Bosniaks returned to Kotor-Varoš.
The investigation found that after the persecution of their victims' homes, they were deprived of their liberty and abused in various ways, and more than once, the mass outbreaks of captured civilians were executed by groups, and three hundred of them were killed.
The Bosnian Serb army and police also carried out systematic destruction of cultural, religious and historical monuments and facilities.
The BiH Prosecutor's Office has announced that the guilty of the accused will be proven by inviting 231 witnesses and expert witnesses.
At the same time, an investigation is being conducted aiming at identifying and accusing direct participants of murders and persecution in Kotor-Varoši.