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Entries in War Crimes (11)

Thursday
Nov292012

Alleged Bosnian War Criminal Arrested in Upstate New York

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(UTICA, N.Y.) -- Federal law enforcement Wednesday arrested a man they say is wanted in Bosnia and Herzegovina for war crimes he committed nearly 20 years ago.

A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Suleman Mujagic, 50, now faces extradition and charges that stem from his actions during a 1995 battle in which he was commanding a platoon in the Army of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia.  The charges allege Mujagic, a lawful U.S. resident living in Utica, N.Y. at the time of his arrest, murdered a captured soldier and tortured another captured soldier, both fighting on behalf of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May032012

Human Rights Group Accuses Syrian Government of War Crimes

Alessio Romenzi/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Human Rights Watch charges that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are guilty of war crimes for committing various atrocities in northwestern Idlib province.

The international rights group said that the deaths of 95 civilians and destruction of hundreds of homes occurred during a period five weeks ago when United Nations special emissary Kofi Annan was in the process of crafting a six-point ceasefire plan that is currently in progress.

According to the report, Syrian forces and pro-government militias routinely rounded up villagers and killed them execution-style.

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch said it documented "dozens and dozens of cases of houses that have been burned intentionally or destroyed, not from shelling, but actually from soldiers going in and setting them on fire."

There was no comment about the report from al-Assad's government, which alleges that 2,600 of its own forces have died at the hands of terrorists spurred by foreign agitators since March 2011.

The ceasefire, now in its third week, has done little to stop the violence. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed Wednesday that rebels killed 15 Syrian security force members in an ambush in the Aleppo province.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb282012

Clinton: Assad Might Qualify as War Criminal

State Department photo(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could be categorized as a war criminal. The statement came as the United Nations announced Tuesday that an estimated 7,500 people have died in the country as a result of Assad’s sustained crackdown.

“I think that based on definitions of war criminal and crimes against humanity, there would be an argument to be made that he would fit into that category,” Clinton said.

But she emphasized that the international community should not officially seek to charge Assad with the title. Clinton said past experiences in naming heads of state as war criminals has shown it “limits options” in persuading the leaders to step down from power.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul202011

UN's Last Wanted War Crimes Fugitive Arrested in Serbia

ALEKSA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Goran Hadzic, the last remaining fugitive wanted by the United Nations' International Criminal Court for war crimes, was arrested in Serbia Wednesday, a high-ranking official told ABC News.

According to the official, Hadzic was nabbed near the mountain Fruska Gora.

Hadzic, the former leader of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), is facing 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the murder of Croat civilians and the deportation of Croats and other non-Serbs by Serbian troops in Croatia during the 1991-1995 war.

He was indicted by the war crimes court in 2004.

Hadzic's arrest comes less than two months after Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander who faces genocide and war crimes charges, was captured in Serbia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul052011

Accused Bosnian War Criminal Mladic Tossed Out of Court

Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Any hope that the trial of former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic would be free of histrionics was dashed Monday when a judge tossed the defendant out of court in The Hague, Netherlands for being disruptive.

Mladic, accused of war crimes during the 1992-95 Bosnian War, shouted over Judge Alphons Orie as he tried to enter not guilty pleas on the defendant's behalf.

Shouting "I’m not going to listen to this," Mladic argued that he would not plead to any charges without the lawyer of his choice.  Mladic also angered the judge by trying to keep his military-style cap on after being told to take it off.

Judge Orie eventually had enough of the defendant's defiance and ordered him removed from the courtroom, whereupon he entered the not guilty pleas on Mladic's behalf.

Mladic faces numerous counts of genocide and other atrocities, including charges he supervised the 1995 massacre that killed 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun272011

Court to Rule on Arrest Warrant for Libya's Moammar Gadhafi

Salah Malkawi/Getty ImagesUPDATE: The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Moammar Gadhafi, his son, Saif al-Islam, and Libya's spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi.

(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- The noose is tightening for Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

The International Criminal Court in the Hague is poised Monday to hand down an indictment for war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Libyan leader.  The court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, asked judges last month to issue an arrest warrant for Gadhafi, his son, Saif al-Islam, and Libya's spy chief, Abdullah al-Senussi, who happens to be Gadhafi's brother-in-law.

Moreno-Ocampo's office claims the trio is responsible for "widespread and systematic attacks" against the people of Libya, "including murder and persecution as crimes against humanity."

"Additionally and since the end of February, there has been an armed conflict in Libya.  In this context, there is also relevant information on the alleged commission of war crimes," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Once Gadhafi is indicted, fewer countries will be willing or able to harbor him.  Hunted, cornered and -- now with the indictment -- humiliated, he may choose to fight to the end.

It's been 100 days since the NATO bombing campaign began in Libya and while Gadhafi remains very much in control of Tripoli, the rebel forces are moving incrementally closer -- they are now just 50 miles south of the capitol.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun032011

Ratko Mladic Appears Before Tribunal; Declines to Enter Plea

Serge Ligtenberg/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague Friday, where prosecutors outlined the 11-count indictment against him for genocide and war crimes.

After the charges were read to him, Mladic, speaking through a translator, said he was a "gravely ill man" and needed more time understand them.  He refused to enter a plea to the charges, which he called "monstrous" and "obnoxious."

"I was just defending my country," Mladic said.

Mladic was indicted by the United Nations tribunal for war crimes that include the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia, the three-year siege of Sarajevo, the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO airstrikes, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

He now has 30 days to review the charges and enter a plea.  If he does not, the tribunal's judges will enter not guilty pleas for him.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 4.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun012011

Ratko Mladic to Appear Before War Crimes Tribunal Friday

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(THE HAGUE, Netherlands) -- Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander who faces genocide and war crimes charges, will appear before judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Friday, according to a spokeswoman for the tribunal.

During his appearance, Mladic will be asked to formally confirm his identity and enter a plea to each of the 11 charges against him.

Mladic was indicted by the United Nations tribunal in The Hague for war crimes that include the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia, the three-year siege of Sarajevo, the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO airstrikes, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May312011

Ratko Mladic's Extradition Appeal Rejected

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Ratko Mladic's appeal to be transferred to a United Nations court, where he faces genocide and war crimes charges, was rejected by Serbian judges on Tuesday.

Serbia's deputy war crimes prosecutor, Bruno Vekaric, told ABC News that Mladic's extradition is expected to come shortly.

Upon arriving at The Hague, Mladic will be taken to a holding cell located on a different floor from where other war crimes suspects awaiting trial are being held, Nerma Jelacic, a spokeswoman for the war crimes tribunal, told ABC News.  He will be given his indictment in Serbian and a list of possible defense lawyers.

The former Bosnian Serb military commander will then undergo a standard medical checkup, at which time the court will issue an official health bulletin and "provide Mladic with adequate care if needed," Jelacic said.

Within 24 to 48 hours of his arrival, Mladic will appear before the court to enter his plea before the three-member panel of judges.

The president of the tribunal, Mehmed Guney, said "the trial could last between a year-and-a-half and two years."

Mladic was indicted by the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague for war crimes that include the 1992 campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Bosnia, the establishment of concentration camps in northwest Bosnia, the three-year siege of Sarajevo; the taking of U.N. hostages in 1995 during NATO airstrikes, and the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May272011

Ratko Mladic Fit for Hague War Crimes Trial: Serbian Court

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(BELGRADE, Serbia) -- Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb Army general accused of orchestrating the worst massacre since the Holocaust, was deemed fit to stand trial for war crimes at The Hague, Netherlands, a Serbian court ruled Friday.

Mladic, arrested Thursday in Serbia after more than a decade in hiding, had been indicted by the International Criminal Court in the aftermath of the Bosnian War, accused of a myriad of crimes against humanity including directing the executions of more than 7,000 Muslims in the small mountain town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995. An earlier indictment alleged that he was also responsible for the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, the direct sniping of women and children and the kidnapping of UN military observers and peacekeepers.

Mladic's first appearance in a Serbian court Thursday had to be cut short because the 69-year-old appeared to be in ill health. A Serbian security official told ABC News Thursday that Mladic appeared considerably aged since he was last seen in public, was pale and a series of strokes had left one arm paralyzed. Mladic's son and wife appeared at his hearing, Serbian state news said, and he is being monitored constantly by doctors.

A lawyer for Mladic said the defense plans to appeal the extradition approval on Monday, which local media said will likely focus on his health.

"We are almost certain he cannot be extradited in such condition," Mladic's son, Darko, told reporters today after visiting his father in jail. "He is in very bad shape."

He was arrested during an early morning police raid on four houses in Lazarevo, Serbia, Thursday. Though he offered no resistance, police found two guns on the property, the security official told ABC News. When police first approached, Mladic gave them a false name but was not wearing a disguise. Then, he reportedly gave himself up.

"Congratulations, I am the person you are looking for," Mladic told police, according to Serbian local media.

Haira Capic, who lost her 26-year-old son and husband in the Srebrenica massacre, said the arrest meant long-belated justice for many.

"For me and thousands of others, justice is finally being served," Capic told ABC News. "It is somewhat cold, but it is justice nonetheless...Now the healing can truly begin."

The arrest comes after years of international pressure on Serbia to hand over Mladic, who was believed to have been moving relatively freely there. The issue had become a hurdle in Serbia's bid to join the European Union.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio