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The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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EIGHT SUSPECTS OF WAR CRIMES DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY IN THE AREA OF HERZEGOVINA, UPON THE ORDER OF THE BIH PROSECUTOR´S OFFICE

18.06.2015. 15:10
Acting upon the order of the Prosecutor from the Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor´s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, police officers of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) carried out an action in the territory of Herzegovina, mostly in the area of Mostar, Čitluk and Ljubuški, which resulted in depriving the following suspects of their liberty:   
  • EIGHT SUSPECTS OF WAR CRIMES DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY IN THE AREA OF HERZEGOVINA, UPON THE ORDER OF THE BIH PROSECUTOR´S OFFICE

  1. Ivan Kraljević aka Ivica, born on 14 December 1955 in Sarajevo, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  2. Mate Jelčić aka Pukovnik /Colonel/ and Žuti, born on 04 May 1953 in  Ljubuški, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  3. Slavko Skender, aka Brada, born on 06 July 1955 in Mostar, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  4. Stojan Odak aka Stole, born on 04 January 1969 in Čitluk, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  5. Nedjeljko Matić aka Nedo, born on 05 July 1969 in Ljubuški, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  6. Vice Bebek aka Vicko, born on 26 October 1968 in Ljubuški, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  7. Vinko Radišić aka Vinča, born on 02 May 1961 in Čitluk, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  8. Dragan Miloš, born on 23 September 1953 in Čitluk, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

The aforementioned suspects are subject to investigation by the Prosecutor´s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and they, as Commanders and members of HVO, Military Police and guards, are suspected of the commission of the criminal offense of Crimes against Humanity, as referred to in Article 172 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the criminal offense of War Crimes against the Prisoners of War, as referred to in Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

They are suspected of war crimes committed in the prison of the VIZ Ljubuški and at other locations, in the period from April of 1993 to May of 1994.

 

According to the evidence collected, around 200 persons of Bosniak ethnicity were imprisoned in the VIZ Ljubuški facility. These persons were unlawfully arrested during the widespread and systematic attack of HVO directed against Bosniak population in the wider area of Herzegovina and they were brought from the territories of Čapljina, Mostar, Stolac, Jablanica, Prozor and other places to the VIZ facility in Ljubuški, where they were imprisoned. 

 

During the aforementioned period of time, the prisoners were being brought in and taken out to other prisons and camps in the territory of Herzegovina, so a large number of persons was subjected to imprisonment in the VIZ facility, women and minor persons included.

 

The prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions, they were tortured, abused, looted, beaten and mistreated in extremely humiliating ways.

 

As a result of their imprisonment, many prisoners suffered severe bodily injuries and they were denied adequate medical treatment, and they were also taken to forced labour.

 

Such imprisonment and mistreatment left grave and permanent consequences on the victims of these crimes.

 

This case is a Category 2 case in which the investigation had been initiated by the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor before the case was transferred to the jurisdiction of the BiH judiciary. The Prosecutor´s office of Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted a thorough investigation which lasted for several months and it extended the scope of investigation in this case so as to involve a larger number of suspects and crimes committed.

 

The aforementioned suspects will be handed over to the Prosecutor in charge of this case today, within the statutory time limit, and the Prosecutor will subsequently question the suspects.       


*Note on the principle of presumption of innocence

Dear Media Representatives, when transmitting news please bear in mind that persons referred to in the news and information of the BiH Prosecutor's Office, have the status of a suspect or an accused person. Let us remind you of the principle of presumption of innocence, which defines that no person shall be considered guilty until his/her guilt has been established by a final verdict.

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