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Bosnia Charges Serb Police Chief with Prisoner Abuse, Torture

20. November 2019.12:34
Former police chief Malko Koroman was charged with the abuse and torture of several dozen Bosniak prisoners who were detained during wartime in the town of Pale, some of whom died.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The Bosnian state prosecution filed an indictment on Wednesday accusing Malko Koroman of committing a crime against humanity against several dozen Bosniak civilians who were unlawfully detained at the police Public Security Station in Pale and at a nearby gym, where they were abused, tortured and beaten.

As a consequence of the abuse and the severe injuries sustained by the prisoners, several of them died the same night or on the following day, according to the prosecution.

It said that Koroman was charged, in his capacity as chief of the Public Security Station in Pale and commander of regular and reservist police forces, with responsibility for “the persecution of the Bosniak civilian population through murders, unlawful detention, torture and other inhumane acts, thus committing a crime against humanity”.

The crime was committed as part of “a widespread systematic attack by the army and police of Republika Srpska, as well as paramilitary formations, against the Bosniak civilian population in the area of Pale and its surroundings”, it added.

Koroman has also been charged, as chief of the Public Security Station in Pale, with having failed to take steps to protect the civilians. The prosecution said that he knew of, approved and participated in the crimes that were committed.

He has further been charged with having organised and controlled an attack on the village of Hrenovica and surrounding places inhabited by Bosniak civilians population in collaboration with Bosnian Serb soldiers.

During the attack on Hrenovica, houses were allegedly set on fire and destroyed and a number of civilians captured.

After that, around 35 male Bosniak civilians were separated from the other captives and unlawfully detained in the gym in Pale, where they were tortured, beaten and abused.

The state prosecution on Wednesday also charged Miladin Trifunovic, the former commander of the Vogosca Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, with wartime crimes against Bosniaks from the Vogosca and Ilijas area between July and December 1992.

Trifunovic is accused of responsibility for the murders and physical and mental abuse of a number of prisoners who were unlawfully detained at the so-called Planjina Kuca detention facility in the village of Svrake during a widespread and systematic attack on the Bosniak civilian population in the Vogosca and Ilijas area.

According to the charges, Trifunovic was commander of the Vogosca Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army when he committed the crimes.

“On several occasions, the defendant gave consent to his subordinates and personally issued orders to take the detained civilians from the Planjina Kuca detention facility to the front lines, where they were used for forced labour in the combat zone and as human shields, which resulted in the murder of at least 22 people, the wounding of and severe physical injuries to 18 people, as well as the abuse of several dozen detainees,” the prosecution alleged.

Both indictments have been filed to the state court for confirmation.

Nermina Kuloglija-Zolj

This post is also available in: Bosnian