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The Hague, 31 October 2001
Indictment against Pasko Ljubicic Unsealed
On 30 October 2001, following an order from Judge Almiro Rodrigues, an indictment against Pasko Ljubicic was unsealed. According to the indictment, which was confirmed by Judge Rodrigues on 27 September 2000, Ljubicic was the commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion of the HVO Military Police until 1 July 1993 and then the Assistant Chief of Military Police Administration for the Central Bosnia Operative Zone until November 1993.
It is alleged that "between June 1992 and July 1993, Pasko Ljubicic individually and in concert with members of the HVO Military Police who were under his command and control, and with members of the HVO, planned, instigated, ordered committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of a crime against humanity by persecuting Bosnian Muslims on political, racial, or religious grounds throughout the municipalities of Vitez and Busovaca, or knew or had reason to know that subordinates were about to do the same, or had done so, and failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent such acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof".
According to the indictment, persecutions were perpetrated by the widespread and systematic attacks on towns and villages inhabited by Bosnian Muslims within the municipalities of Vitez and Busovaca. This included attacks on the villages of Ahmici, Nadioci, Pirici and Santici on 16 April 1993, in which approximately 100 civilians were killed and numerous others seriously injured. The indictment further alleges that prior to the attacks on Ahmici, Nadioci, Pirici and Santici, Pasko Ljubicic conveyed orders to his subordinates that all Muslims of military age should be killed.
In addition, the indictment alleges that Bosnian Muslim property was plundered, civilians detained and forced to dig trenches at or near the front lines (where some were killed or wounded), and that they were subjected to physical and psychological abuse and intimidation. Bosnian Muslim civilians were also expelled from their homes and forcibly transferred by the HVO Military Police and other members of the HVO to other parts of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The indictment charges Pasko Ljubicic on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) of the Statute) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3)) with:
- Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 – unlawful attack on civilians; murder; violence to life and person; devastation not justified by military necessity; destruction or willful damage to the institutions dedicated to religion or education; plunder of public or private property; and cruel treatment),
- Crimes against humanity (Article 5 – persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds; murder; and inhumane acts).
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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