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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 03:01 GMT 04:01 UK
War crime case returned to Bosnia
By Geraldine Coughlan
BBC News, The Hague

Radovan Stankovic
Stankovic is first suspect to be sent back from The Hague
Judges at the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague have sent a case to the new war crimes court in Bosnia.

Radovan Stankovic, a Bosnian Serb, is accused of the rape of Muslim women in the eastern Bosnian town of Foca in 1992 during the break-up of Yugoslavia.

His case will be the first the Tribunal hands back to Balkan authorities.

The transfer of cases of middle- and lower-level suspects by the Tribunal is part of its strategy to speed up its work and close its doors by 2010.

The indictment against Radovan Stankovic is the Tribunal's first referral to a national jurisdiction.

Mr Stankovic will now be tried by Bosnia's newly established War Crimes Chamber under the domestic legal system.

Radovan Stankovic allegedly took part in atrocities including rape, against Bosnian Muslims and Croats after the takeover of the town of Foca by Serb forces in 1992.

Over 50 suspects are awaiting trial at The Hague and around a dozen are still at large.

It is expected the Court will have to transfer several cases to courts in the Balkans if it is to meet its completion targets.


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