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Croatia: Three former police officials arrested for alleged war crimes

last update: June 20, 18:32

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Zagreb, 20 June (AKI) - Three former police officials have been arrested on suspicion of having committed crimes against Serb civilians during the 1991-1995 war that followed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, local media reported on Monday.

The police arrested Djuro Brodarac, wartime police chief in the town of Sisak, southeast of Zagreb, and two other former police officials, Vladimir Milankovic and Drago Bosnjak, it said.

According to media reports, they will be charged with “chain of command responsibility” for the death of up to 600 Serb civilians in the Sisak region in 1991 and 1992.

Brodarac also served as a de-mining adviser to the Croatian government. He and Milankovic allegedly ordered the crimes, while Bosnjak carried them out, the report said.

Croatia’s human rights organization, The Youth Initiative for Human Rights, hailed the arrests, saying that for twenty years the three evaded justice while “the victims and their families got no satisfaction”.

“According to some indications, up to 600 Serb civilians were killed or listed as missing in Sisak in that period, which would make it one of the worst mass crimes committed in the war in Croatia,” the Youth Initiative said in a statement.

Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia on 28June , 1991. The secession sparked a war against the Yugoslav army and Belgrade-backed Serb rebels who controlled as much as a third of the country.

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in April sentenced three Croatian generals to long prison terms for ordering the ethnic cleansing of areas inhabited by Serbs in 1995. The sentencing shocked many Croats.

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