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The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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INDICTMENT ISSUED AGAINST FIVE PERSONS FOR WAR CRIMES AGAINST PRISONERS OF WAR

19.02.2013. 15:10
Prosecutor's Office of BiH issued an indictment against five persons charging them with the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175 of the Criminal Code of BiH.

Prosecutor of the Special Department for War Crimes within the Prosecutor's Office of BiH issued an indictment against the following persons:

1.   Husein Begić aka "Huso", born on January 22, 1964 in Bihać, residing in Cazin, BiH citizen

2.   Safet Kovačević aka "Papo" born on September 18, 1973 in the municipality of Bihać where he resides, a citizen of BiH and Republic of Croatia,

3.   Muhamed Anadolac, born on July 29, 1972 in Bihać where he resides, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina

4.   Abid Ljubijankić, born on October 15, 1969 in Cazin, residing in Bihać, BiH citizen and

5.   Sabahudin Hafurić, born on May 8, 1972 in Bihać where he resides, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Those accused are charged with having, during the war in BiH and the conflict between the Republika Srpska Army and the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, acted contrary to Article 3 and Article 4 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, dated August 12, 1949. As members of the 5th Military Police Battalion of the V Corps of the Army of BiH, they deliberately inflicted severe physical and mental pain and suffering, and injuries to body or health of prisoners of war - members of the Republika Srpska Army.

The indictment alleges that the accused Safet Kovačević, Muhamed Anadolac, Abid Ljubijankić and Sabahudin Hafurić as military policemen, and Husein Begić as a platoon leader in the second company of the 5 Military Police Battalion, have on March 11, 1995, participated in the transfer of the thirty-one (31) RS Army prisoners of war, who were placed under the control of V Corps and were located in collective centers within the company "Rad" in Cazin, prison "Luke" in Bihać and military barracks "Adil Bešić" in Bihać. The prisoners were transported by bus.

The accused have first blindfolded the captured members of the RS Army on their entry to bus and ordered them to hold the hands on their back and to bow their heads and then they forced them to sit on the bus floor so that they could, during the drive on the route from Cazin to Bihać and then further to the border crossing Izačić, which lasted much longer than usual, treated the POWs inhumanely, deliberately causing them severe physical and mental pain and suffering, injury to body and health, The prisoners were beaten with police batons, rifle butts, hands and feet, to different parts of the body, while being simultaneously forced to sing "Bosno moja," and to unanimously respond to officers' question "whose land is this?" with "Turkish" as well as to pronounce Muslim battle cry "Takbir Allah-Akbar", while being warned not to raise their heads.

The accused Husein Begić aka "Huso" who was the commander of the group, is charged with having failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent his subordinates, Safet Kovačević, Muhamed Anadolac, Abid Ljubijankić, Sabahudin Hafurić and other members of that group in performing physical and psychological abuse, even though he knew that these officers were about to take such actions, which they did in his presence and where the beating lasted nearly the entire drive to a place called Japanska Krivina located near Izačić settlement, where the agreed exchange between representatives of the RS Army and V Corps of the A RBiH was subsequently made.

The accused Safet Kovačević, Muhamed Anadolac, Abid Ljubijankić and Sabahudin Hafurić are charged with having committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175, subparagraphs a) and b) in conjunction with Article 29, all in conjunction with Article 180, Paragraph 1 of the CC BiH, and the suspect Husein Begić is charged with having committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175, Subparagraphs a) and b), in conjunction with Article 180 Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code of BiH.

The indictment was forwarded to the Court of BiH for confirmation.


*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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