City: Visegrad

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25. March 2020.

A court confirmed ex-fighter Radomir Susnjar’s 20-year sentence for his involvement in killing 26 Bosniak civilians, including a baby, in a house that he helped to set on fire in Visegrad in 1992. The appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court has upheld the verdict convicting Radomir Susnjar of involvement in wartime crimes in the Visegrad area in June 1992, including the murder of 26 civilians – one of them a two-day-old baby – who were locked inside a house that was then burned.


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12. March 2020.
Courts in Trebinje and Bijeljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina have rejected pleas to ban Serb nationalist Chetnik associations for allegedly inciting ethnic hatred and intolerance.

The Basic Courts in Trebinje and Bijeljina told BIRN that they have turned down requests to ban associations whose names contain the words ‘Chetnik Movement’ or ‘Ravna Gora Movement’.

The plea was “rejected as unfounded”, said Jelica Ijacic, the secretary at Trebinje Basic Court.

The Sarajevo Canton justice ministry sent requests last year to courts in the towns of Banja Luka, Doboj, Bijeljina, Sokolac and Trebinje to ban the Chetnik associations on the grounds that they provoke ethnic, racial or religious hatred and discord and intolerance.

The plea for a ban was submitted following a controversial commemoration in Visegrad in March 2019 of Dragoljub ‘Draza’ Mihailovic, the WWII leader of the Serb nationalist Chetnik movement.

The courts in Doboj and Sokolac have also rejected the request, BIRN was told in January, while the Banja Luka court has not yet made a decision.

After the Mihailovic commemoration, the Bosnian state prosecution opened a case to examine whether the incident had provoked hatred and intolerance. The probe is still ongoing.

This year’s Chetnik event to celebrate Mihailovic, which had been scheduled for Friday this week, has been postponed because the authorities in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity imposed measures to ban public gatherings as part of attempts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The president of the Republika Srpska Ravna Gora Movement, Dusan Sladojevic, insisted that the organisation did not promote hatred or intolerance.

“We have the honourable idea of correcting inaccurate history and seeing how to proceed through the catharsis of truth,” Sladojevic told BIRN.

He also insisted that “uncle Draza’s army was never criminal”.

Chetnik leader Mihailovic was sentenced to death in 1946 for high treason and collaboration with Nazi Germany, but rehabilitated in 2015 by a Belgrade court. During WWII, his forces committed large-scale war crimes, including crimes against Bosniaks in Visegrad.

There was controversy on Orthodox Christmas Eve in January when the Ravna Gora Association in Visegrad organised a convoy of cars that drove noisily through the town, blaring Serbian songs, sparking fear among Bosniaks who fled during the war but have since returned.

The state prosecution opened a case to probe the incident and similar Serb celebrations in Srebrenica and Bratunac the same evening.


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27. February 2020.
Interpol has issued a ‘red notice’ calling for the arrest of Milojko Kovacevic, a former Bosnian Serb reservist policeman charged with crimes against humanity in the Visegrad area in 1992.

A ‘red notice’ has been posted on Interpol’s online wanted list calling on countries worldwide to arrest Milojko Kovacevic, who is accused of the forcibly removing, torturing, abusing and beating Bosniak civilians from the village of Donje Veletovo in the Visegrad area of eastern Bosnia in June 1992.

The Bosnian prosecution charged Kovacevic with crimes against humanity in February 2019, but Bosnian police have not  been able to arrest him because he is no longer in the country.

The prosecution said Kovacevic, who was born in Visegrad, now lives in the Uzice area in neighbouring Serbia.

When the indictment was raised last year, the prosecution said that Kovacevic participated “in the forced resettlement of the Bosniak civilian population from the village of Donje Veletovo in June 1992, when the entire population was forcibly transported towards the Sokolac municipality”.

It said that women, children and the elderly were then “expelled to territory controlled by the Bosnian Army, while around 50 Bosniak men were escorted by armed members of the Bosnian Serb Army and police to the Paklenik pit locality, where they were killed”.

Kovacevic is accused of committing the crime as a member of reservist police forces at the Public Security Station in Visegrad.

The Bosnian state court told BIRN last month that it was seeking a total of 47 people for arrestwho have been indicted for wartime crimes.