Mladen Kurdija, a wartime military police commander with the Croatian Defence Council, is accused of the murders, forced disappearances and rapes of Serb civilians in Bosanski Brod in 1992.
The Bosnian prosecution filed an indictment on Friday against Kurdija, who was charged with participating in crimes against several dozen Serb civilians, who were unlawfully detained in the police station and Polet football stadium in Bosanski Brod.
The police station and stadium were used for the illegal detention of number of Serb men and women, who were kept in inhumane conditions.
The prosecution said that the Serb victims were tortured, abused and beaten, and more than ten prisoners were killed or died as a result of the beatings. Some of the prisoners were taken away and disappeared without trace; other victims’ bodies were found and exhumed after the war.
“Part of the indictment refers to the rapes and sexual abuse of a number of Serbian women, who were raped multiple times at different locations, as well as rapes carried out in an extremely humiliating way, in front of other prisoners, and in one case victim was raped before her husband,” the Bosnian prosecution said.
Kurdija, a former member of the Croatian Defence Council’s 101st Brigade, is also charged with unlawfully taking a number of civilians to use as human shields, when they suffered severe physical and mental injury, as well as participating in the torture and beatings of Serb prisoners.
The Bosnian prosecution said that Kurdija now lives in Zadar county in Croatia and has Croatian citizenship.
Since Croatia does not extradite its citizens for war crimes prosecutions, unless Kurdija comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina voluntarily, the case would have to be transferred to the Croatian prosecution according to an agreement between the two state prosecutors’ offices which was signed in June last year. However, no indictments have yet raised as a result of this cooperation protocol.
The indictment has been forwarded to the Bosnian court for confirmation.