Serbia Indicts Bosnian Ex-Soldier for Crimes Against Prisoners
The Serbian War Crimes Prosecution told BIRN that it has charged Osman Osmanovic with committing war crimes against civilians and prisoners of war at the Rasadnik camp in Gornji Rahic in Bosnia and Herzegovina's Brcko area during the summer of 1992.
The indictment was issued on Friday and has yet to be confirmed by a court.
After he was arrested on the Serbia Bosnia border in November, the prosecution said that Osmanovic, "as a member of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO), and later of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with several members of his unit, inflicted bodily injuries, tortured, abused and intimidated civilians and captured members of the Army of Republika Srpska [Bosnian Serb Army]".
Osmanovic is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has asked for his extradition. Belgrade Higher Court rejected the extradition request and Osmanovic remains in custody in Serbia.
Osmanovic's lawyer, Mirsad Crnovrsanin, told BIRN in December that the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution had no basis for conducting an investigation into Osmanovic, as he is a Bosnian citizen and allegedly committed the crime in Bosnia, and that the only witness and victim also lives in Bosnia.
"The crime under investigation in Serbia is the same as the one investigated in Bosnia, so all conditions for referring the case against Osmanovic [to Bosnia] have been met," Crnovrsanin said.
The Appeal Court in the Brcko District of Bosnia sentenced ex-fighters Galib Hadzic and Nijaz Hodzic to two years and ten months and one year in prison respectively in 2015 for torturing prisoners at the Rasadnik jail camp during wartime. Osmanovic was a witness at the trial.