January 30, 2018 / 4:55 PM / 7 months ago

Bosnian Serb wartime police chief charged with genocide in Srebrenica

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnia’s war crimes court confirmed a genocide indictment on Tuesday against the Bosnian Serb wartime police chief over the massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, the site of Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.

The 59-year-old Tomislav Kovac, who served as the Serb Republic interior minister and now lives in Serbia, is charged with participating in a joint criminal enterprise which aimed to exterminate Bosnian Muslims from the eastern town of Srebrenica.

The massacre involved the systematic slaughter of Muslims after Bosnian Serb forces, commanded by General Ratko Mladic, captured the U.N.-protected Srebrenica enclave in July 1995, the only episode of Bosnia’s war to be defined as genocide by two U.N. courts.

Mladic was jailed for life in November for the massacre by a U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

More than 20 years after the 1992-95 Bosnian war ended, many suspected war criminals remain at large and victims are still being found in mass graves.

According to indictment, Kovac is also suspected of concealing the evidence of mass executions by digging up the victims’ bodies from primary sites and scattering them in unmarked locations.

Kovac denied any wrongdoing in a 2016 video testimony from Belgrade in a case against a group of ex-Serb soldiers charged with Srebrenica genocide by the Bosnian war crimes court.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela, editing by Ed Osmond

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