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Milan Lukic in Tribunal Custody

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 21 February 2006

Milan Lukic in Tribunal Custody

Milan Lukic was today brought into the Tribunal's custody having been transferred from Argentina, where he was arrested in August 2005 after almost seven years on the run.

The Tribunal first indicted Milan Lukic on 26 October 1998 together with his cousin Sredoje Lukic and Mitar Vasiljevic, a close family friend. According to the indictment, Milan Lukic formed a group of Bosnian Serb paramilitaries in spring 1992 in Višegrad, south-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Referred to as "White Eagles" and "Avengers," the indictment states the group worked with local police and military units to spread terror among the local Muslim population.

The indictment charges Milan Lukic with murdering, severely beating, unlawfully detaining and terrorising Bosnian Muslim and other non-Serb civilians, as well as destroying and looting their homes and personal property.

Among the incidents with which he is charged, the indictment alleges that on or about 14 June 1992, Milan Lukic, Sredoje Lukic and others forced approximately 70 Bosnian Muslim women, children and elderly men into a house in Višegrad. They barricaded the house, set it on fire and shot at those who tried to escape by climbing out the windows. Almost everyone locked in the house was killed, including 18 children between the ages of two days and 14 years.

The indictment charges Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic with killing another 70 or so Bosnian Muslims victims in a similar incident on or about 27 June 1992. It alleges that they, and others, barricaded the victims into a house near Višegrad and set it on fire, killing all but one survivor, including six children under the age of 11.

Milan Lukic is also charged with killing five of seven Bosnian Muslim men who were shot on the bank of the River Drina on or about 7 June 1992. Mitar Vasiljevic has been tried and convicted before the Tribunal to 15 years imprisonment for involvement in this particular crime and is currently serving his sentence in Austria.

Milan Lukic joins his cousin Sredoje Lukic in the Tribunal's Detention Unit to await trial. Sredoje Lukic came into the Tribunal's custody on 16 September 2005.

A date for Milan Lukic's initial appearance before the Tribunal where he will enter a plea will be announced in due course.

A press kit containing the full text of the indictment and other materials is available at http://www.un.org/icty/latest-e/lukicindex.htm

Hard copies can be obtained from the Media Office.

Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website.