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Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Serbia charges war crime suspects
Serbian war crimes prosecutors in Belgrade have charged seven men in connection with ethnic cleansing in Bosnia during the 1992-1995 war.

It is the first case to be handed over to the Serbian authorities by the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

The seven are accused of murdering at least 19 Bosnian Muslim civilians near the Bosnian town of Zvornik in 1992, and expelling 1,822 to Hungary.

The indicted men include the former mayor of Zvornik, Branko Grujic.

The others are local defence commander Branko Popovic and five members of a Bosnian Serb paramilitary unit called the Yellow Wasps.

One of these, Dragutin Dragicevic, is already serving a 25-year sentence for war crimes.

Eastern Bosnia fell under the control of the Bosnian Serb army from the start of the war, but paramilitaries from both Serbia and Bosnian Serb territory operated in the area.

Forensic experts in Bosnia have been working at mass graves near Zvornik, where hundreds of Muslim civilians killed by Bosnian Serb forces are thought to be buried.

Serbia has already tried a number of its own cases involving Serbs, but never a case handed on by The Hague tribunal, which aims to start winding down from 2008 to 2010.

Some Serbs still regard those indicted for war crimes as heroes.

Serbs sentenced for war crimes
30 Sep 03 |  Europe
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20 Sep 03 |  Europe
Bosnia's largest mass grave
30 Jul 03 |  Europe
Country profile: Bosnia-Hercegovina
01 Oct 03 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Serbia and Montenegro
10 Aug 05 |  Country profiles

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