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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Bosnian Serb refuses to enter plea
Foca
Foca was overrun by Bosnian Serb forces in 1992

A Bosnian Serb has refused to accept the jurisdiction of the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague.

Radovan Stankovic who was arrested by Nato peacekeepers on Tuesday is accused of running a house where Muslim women and girls were kept and raped during the war in Bosnia in the early 1990s.

Radovan Stankovic
Stankovic - one of the 23 most wanted suspects listed by The Hague
Mr Stankovic refused to enter a plea on charges of crimes against humanity, rape and enslavement.

He said he has been accused simply because he is a Serb who defended his people.

The court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf and Mr Stankovic agreed to appoint a lawyer.

Prosecutors claim that as a former member of a Serb paramilitary unit, Mr Stankovic ran a house near the eastern Bosnian town of Foca where women and girls were kept after Serb forces overran the town in 1992.

Map of Bosnia

The tribunal defined rape and enslavement as crimes against humanity for the first time when it convicted three Bosnian Serbs for crimes at Foca last year.

Two other accused are still at large.

Mr Stankovic is the second Bosnian Serb to appear in court this week.

Miroslav Deronjic, who was picked up by Nato troops on Sunday, denied responsibility for the deaths of 65 Muslims in the eastern Bosnian village of Glogova when he appeared in court on Wednesday.


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08 Jul 02 | Europe
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