Bosnia Arrests Four Croat War Crimes Suspects

The Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency arrested four former Croat fighters on suspicion that they committed war crimes including rape in the Odzak area in 1992.

Marijan Brnjic, Ilija Glavas and Pavo Glavas, all former members of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, were arrested on Monday on suspicion of having participated in crimes against Serb civilians during the 1992-95 war.

The state prosecution said the men, former members of the 102nd Brigade of the HVO from Odzak, are accused of having committed the crimes, including the rape of several Serb women, in the Odzak municipality from June to August 1992.

Another former Bosnian Croat fighter, Martin Barukcic, was also arrested on Monday on suspicion of participating in the same crimes.

The prosecution asked the state court on Tuesday to order custody for all four suspects because they could escape or exert pressure on accomplices and witnesses, but the defence objected, saying that they would not attempt to dodge the trial.

Suspect Pavo Glavas said that he was not in the Odzak area at the time the crimes were committed and that a custody remand would harm his situation in Switzerland, where he now lives.

‘If you do not release me today, that entails consequences, I will lose my documents in Switzerland, my existence will be threatened. This will change my life,’ he said.

Barukcic also denied guilt and said he had evidence that he was not in the Odzak area during that period.

The court will decide on the remand request at a later date.

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