Reuters War crimes trial opens for Karadzic ex-minister
War crimes trial opens for Karadzic ex-minister
Mon 6 Nov 2006 14:38:03 GMT
SARAJEVO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Bosnia's war crimes court launched on Monday the
trial of the most senior Bosnian Serb wartime government official, indicted
for crimes committed against non-Serbs during the country's 1992-95 war.
Momcilo Mandic served as deputy interior minister and justice minister in
the government of then Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, the top war
crimes fugitive wanted by the United Nations war crimes tribunal over
Prosecutor Behaija Krnjic said Mandic led an attack by Bosnian Serb police
forces and military and paramilitary units on the police training centre in
Sarajevo in April 1992, where non-Serb trainers were detained and brutally
During his tenure as Bosnian Serb justice minister, he was also responsible
for three notorious detention camps, two near the Bosnian capital and one in
the eastern town of Foca.
The prosecutor said evidence and testimonies would prove that non-Serb
civilians held in the three camps were tortured by guards and sent to forced
labour at front lines where many were killed, injured or went missing.
"The prosecution has collected 147 items of material evidence that could
lead to a conclusion the indictee was responsible for these crimes," Krnjic
told the court.
He said he planned to invite 51 witnesses.
Mandic's attorney Milan Vujin objected to the use of wiretapped telephone
conversations as evidence, and said Mandic had only limited responsibility
for the camps, which were run by military authorities and inmates were
mainly prisoners of war.
The state court sentenced Mandic to nine years in prison last week for abuse
of office at the now-defunct Privredna Banka. He was found guilty of
transferring depositors' funds to political party accounts, eventually
bankrupting the bank.
Mandic left Bosnia towards the end of the 1992-95 war and moved to Belgrade
where he became a wealthy businessman. He was arrested last year in
Montenegro and transferred to Bosnia.