Trial of two former Bosnian Serb officials begins at UN tribunal

14 September 2009The trial of two former high-ranking Bosnian Serb officials, facing charges that include extermination, murder, persecution and torture, began today at the United Nations war crimes tribunal set up in the wake of the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s. Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin are on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) over alleged actions against non-Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992.Mr. Staniši ć was in charge of public and state security as Bosnian Serb Internal Affairs Minister, while Mr. Župljanin was his direct subordinate and the most senior police officer in the Autonomous Region of Krajina (ARK) in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina.The indictment against the two men states that they participated in a joint criminal enterprise with other high-ranking Bosnian Serbs to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs from the territory of a planned Serbian state.Last November both Mr. Staniši ć – who surrendered to the tribunal’s custody in 2005 – and Mr. Župljanin – who was arrested and brought to the ICTY in June last year – pleaded not guilty to all charges.