Bosnia’s Former Security Minister Charged with War Crimes

18. January 2024.10:58
Former Security Minister Selmo Cikotic, who was a Bosnian Army officer during the war, was charged with failing to prevent the torture and murders of Croat military prisoners in Bugojno in 1993.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Selmo Cikotic. Photo: BIRN BiH

The Bosnian state court in Sarajevo said on Thursday that it has confirmed an indictment charging ex-minister Selmo Cikotic and Dzevad Mlaco with war crimes against prisoners of war.

Cikotic, who was Bosnia and Herzegovina’s security minister from 2020 to 2023 and the country’s defence minister from 2007 to 2012, was charged in his wartime capacity as commander of the Western Operational Group of the Bosnian Army’s Third Corps.

Mlaco was charged as the wartime head of the War Presidency of Bugojno municipality.

According to the charges, Mlaco ordered the killing of more than 20 captive members of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, the Bosnian Croat wartime force.

The indictment claims that the HVO prisoners were brought to the BH Banka building in Bugojno, where members of the military police beat them up. Some of them died as a result.

Mlaco also issued an order for prisoners who had been labelled ‘extremists’ to be taken to a motel in Rostovo, near Bugojno, where they were executed.

Cikotic is charged with failing to take whatever action possible to prevent the inhumane treatment and murders of the prisoners, even though he possessed information that enabled him to conclude that his subordinates were about to commit the crimes.

He is also accused of failing to take measures to initiate criminal proceedings over the torture and murders.

In a separate case in December 2023, the state court handed down a first-instance verdict convicting Cikotic of abuse of office in a corruption case centred on military supplies, sentencing him to three years in prison.

Lamija Grebo

This post is also available in: Bosnian