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Zdravko Tolimir, a high ranking Bosnian Serb Army officer indicted for genocide and other crimes committed in Srebrenica in 1995, was transferred today into the Tribunal's custody. He was yesterday detained by authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina after having been on the run for more than two years.
Tolimir's arrest leaves only the Tribunal's two most wanted, General Ratko Mladić, former Bosnian Serb Army chief, and Radovan Karad¾ic, former Bosnian Serb President, as fugitives from international justice for crimes committed in Srebrenica.
The Tribunal's indictment charges Tolimir, Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), with responsibility for murdering more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in July 1995. The indictment also accuses him with making life unbearable for the civilian inhabitants of Srebrenica and Žepa and forcing them to leave the UN protected areas. Tolimir reported directly to the VRS Commander, Mladić.
Tolimir is charged, amongst other crimes, with involvement in the murder of Bosnian Muslim prisoners temporarily held in various locations in the towns of Bratunac and Potoèari in eastern Bosnia. Among more than a dozen incidents of murder, the indictment alleges that Tolimir supervised the VRS detachment that summarily executed more than 1,700 Muslim men and boys at the Branjevo Military Farm and the Pilica Cultural Center.
Tolimir was also involved in the plan to remove all Muslims from the Srebrenica and ®epa enclaves. The indictment claims that in executing this plan, VRS and Interior Ministry personnel, amongst other crimes, shelled civilian targets in the enclaves and restricted humanitarian aid, such as food, medicine and medical assistance.
According to the indictment, these and other crimes were part of a joint criminal enterprise and operation in which Tolimir participated. Its purpose was to force the Muslim population out of the Srebrenica and ®epa enclaves to areas outside the control of the Republika Srpska (RS).
Of a total of 161 persons indicted by the Tribunal since its establishment in 1993, only five persons remain fugitives, including the most wanted, General Ratko Mladić and Radovan Karadžić
The Tribunal acknowledges and thanks EUFOR, the European Union Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for its support through transport, security and logistics in the transfer of Tolimir to the Tribunal.
The initial appearance of Zdravko Tolimir before Trial Chamber II has been scheduled for 16:30 on Monday, 4 June in courtroom I.
The full text of the indictment is available on the Tribunal's website
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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