Former Bosnian Muslim commander arrested on war crimes charges

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-05 21:25:33|Editor: mmm
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SARAJEVO, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Members of Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) arrested here on Wednesday a former Bosnian Muslim wartime commander Ramiz Drekovic accused of war crimes.

Drekovic, a former brigadier general of the Fourth Corps of the Army of the Republic of BiH (ARBiH), is charged with acting against the provisions of the Geneva Convention during the 1992-1995 war.

"On the prosecutor's warrant from the Special Department for War Crimes, SIPA police officers deprived of liberty Ramiz Drekovic, born on May 10, 1956, in Tutin, Serbia. He is suspected of acting contrary to the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilian persons in time of war," the BiH Prosecutor's Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

Drekovic is charged with issuing a strictly confidential direct command to artillery units in the wider area of the municipality of Konjic to carry out uncontrolled shelling of Kalinovik, located 60 kilometers south of the capital Sarajevo and inhabited by a population of Serb ethnicity.

"After the issued command, ARBiH artillery units executed shelling with weapons of great devastating power, on several occasions, during May and June 1995. The blasts killed a 15-year-old child, heavily wounded several adults and children, and caused a great destruction of property," the BiH prosecutor's statement said.

Drekovic is charged with committing war crimes against civilians, and after his examination, the acting prosecutor will decide whether to file criminal charges in his case.

An ethnically rooted war that took place from 1992 to 1995 in BiH was fought between Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs, resulting in 100,000 people killed and over 2 million displaced worldwide. Ending years of bitter fighting, western countries with backing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) imposed a final ceasefire negotiated at Dayton, Ohio, the U.S., in 1995.