Eight charged over Srebrenica massacre

Eight people charged by war crimes prosecutors in Serbia over 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Sep 11, 2015

Eight people in Serbia have been accused of killing hundreds of Bosnian men and boys in a single day at a warehouse near the town of Srebrenica during the 1995 massacre there, widely considered to be the worst atrocity to take place in Europe since World War Two.

The men charged on Thursday belonged to a special Bosnian-Serb police unit that was operating in the eastern village of Kravica when the killings happened over 20 years ago.

It is the first time that a Serbian court charged anyone over the massacre of 8,000 people by Bosnian Serb forces.

The Srebrenica massacre came in the 1990s amid the  break-up of Yugoslavia into independent states.

Serbia supported Bosnian Serb forces against the Muslim-led Bosnian government during the conflict.

In July 1995, Bosnian Serb forces took control of Srebrenica and killed about 8,000 men and boys, burying them in mass graves.

Serb forces herded the mainly Muslim victims into a warehouse where they were killed with machine guns and grenades in an assault that lasted all night, the prosecutor's statement said.

“The charges were a message that there will be no impunity for war crimes and that the victims will not be forgotten," prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said.

Those recently charged included the unit's commander, Nedeljko Milidragovic, also known as Nedjo the Butcher, who was accused of giving the order for the killings and saying that "nobody should get out alive."

The eight men could face maximum sentences of 20 years each if found guilty. Fourteen people have so far been convicted at the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague in relation to the Srebrenica killings which the tribunal has called an act of genocide.

TRTWorld and agencies