Serbia Promises Imminent Strpci Abduction Indictments


27 Feb 15
Serbia Promises Imminent Strpci Abduction Indictments

Twenty-two years after Serb fighters seized 20 passengers from a train in Bosnia and killed them, the Serbian war crimes prosecution said that indictments will be issued in the coming days.

Marija Ristic, Dusica Tomovic
Belgrade, Podgorica

Strpci railway station.

The prosecution said on Friday that charges will be laid soon against fighters suspected of involvement in the abduction and killing of the mainly Bosniak passengers, who were murdered after being seized from the train at Strpci station on February 27, 1993.

Five suspects were detained in Serbia and ten more in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a joint operation in December last year.

“The joint team has investigated for a year and half, in the areas of both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and examined more than 100 witness and gathered evidence needed for the indictement,” the Serbian prosecution said.

Those arrested include Gojko Lukic, the brother of the leader of the ‘Avengers’ paramilitary unit, Milan Lukic, who is already in jail for war crimes, as well as the commander of the Bosnian Serb Аrmy’s Visegrad Brigade, Luka Dragicevic, and the commander of the Visegrad Brigade’s Intervention Squad, Boban Indjic.

Some of those who were killed were Bosniaks from Montenegro, and human rights activists and Bosniak organisation in Montenegro marked the anniversary of the abduction on Friday by calling on the Montenegrin government to help find the perpetrators and compensate the victims’ families.

The Centre for Civic Education, the Liberal Party and the Forum of Bosniaks in Montenegro condemned the authorities for what they called “the shameful stance that they have towards the families of the victims, who are not recognised as civilian victims of war”.

The only person to have been convicted of involvement in the abductions so far was Avengers member Nebojsa Ranisavljevic, who was jailed for 15 years by a Montenegrin court in 2002.

During his trial it was proved that there was an advance plan for the abductions and that the Serbian Railway Company had informed the Serbian interior ministry and the Yugoslav People’s Army about the possibility of seizing the passengers.

The anniversary of the abductions was also commemorated on Friday with the series of events in the town of Bijelo Polje and in the Montenegrin capital, where representatives of the Forum of Bosniaks of Montenegro laid flowers at a monument to victims of the 1990s conflict in Podgorica’s Pobrezje Park.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)