Bosnia Says It Will Bring Krsmanovic to Trial
When Suspect, Freed by Tribunal, Returns
(SARAJEVO, March 29AP) Bosnian courts will try a Bosnian Serb officer freed by the international war crimes tribunal if he returns to Sarajevo, newspaper reports said Saturday. Col. Aleksa Krsmanovic was released Friday by the tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, for lack of evidence and ordered returned to Sarajevo for a possible genocide trial. "We have still not received official information that Krsmanovic will be returned to Sarajevo, but if he does, our court will put him on trial," Azra Omeragic, president of the High Court in Sarajevo, was quoted as saying in the newspaper Avaz.
Krsmanovic was arrested Jan. 30 after making a wrong turn into a government-controlled suburb of Sarajevo. Bosnian investigators believe Krsmanovic, a logistics officer, provided Serb forces with weapons. He was brought to The Hague to testify against Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Gen. Ratko Mladic, who both have been indicted by the tribunal for genocide, but refused to give evidence. A three-judge panel then ordered him sent back to Sarajevo no later than midnight April 3 for investigation and possible trial.
"We have the right to put him before a court," Sarajevo Public Prosecutor Domin Malbasic was quoted as saying. He told newspapers that any trade of Krsmanovic for a prisoner held by Bosnian Serbs "would be a dangerous precedent, but a possible political step."
In Banja Luka, a Bosnian Serb military court found a Bosnian Croat soldier guilty Friday of crimes against civilians and sentenced him to death by firing squad. Ivan Stjepanovic, 26, could avoid execution if he is sent to the tribunal in The Hague.
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
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