Serbia Arrests Soldier, Charges Include
'Mass Liquidation of Civilian Population'
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia — March 8, 1996 (AP)Serbian police have arrested a Bosnian Serb soldier suspected of taking part in the mass murder of civilians in the eastern Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrenica, the Tanjug news agency reported Thursday. Drazen Erdemovic, 25, is the first person arrested in connection with the atrocities that followed the Bosnian Serb onslaught on Srebrenica in July, when thousands of Muslim men disappeared. It is suspected that they were slain by Serb forces and buried in mass graves.
Richard Goldstone, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, said Erdemovic and a second man arrested with him, Radoslav Kremenovic, had been members of the Bosnian Serb army. Serbian police said the 29-year-old Kremenovic was arrested for hiding Erdemovic.
Admits Role in Execution of 100 Men, Boys
On Thursday evening, ABC News said Erdemovic had told one of its reporters that he took part in the execution of more than 100 men and boys who were brought from Srebrenica to a farm in northeastern Bosnia.
According to the report, Erdemovic said the slaughter went on for more than five hours and that many of his fellow soldiers there were drunk. Afterward, he went to a nearby village where he saw Serb soldiers throwing hand grenades into a building where Muslim men were held, said reporter Vanessa Vasic-Janekovic. She said she had videotaped an interview with Erdemovic, but that the tape was seized by Serbian authorities.
The Tribunal's Goldstone has asked Yugoslav authorities to send both men to the tribunal in The Hauge, Netherlands, for questioning. Serb-led Yugoslavia does not recognize the U.N. tribunal, and has said that extradition of its citizens is against the country’s constitution. It has pledged to try war criminals at home. It was not known if Yugoslavia would extradite Bosnian Serbs, who are not citizens of Yugoslavia.
In a statement carried by Tanjug, the office of Serbia’s public prosecutor said Erdemovic was suspected of taking part in "the mass liquidation of the civilian population," has confessed and will be charged with war crimes. He was arrested on March 2 and is being held in the city of Novi Sad, about 55 miles northwest of Belgrade.
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
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