The Bosnian prosecution charged former Bosnian Serb military policeman Nikola Koprivica, also known as Nidza, with committing a crime against humanity.
The Bosnian state prosecution accused Koprivica of participating in an attack on the Bosniak village of Novoseoci in the Sokolac municipality from 21 to 22 September, 1992, leaving 44 people dead. According to the indictment, he took part in the killing as a Bosnian Serb Army military policeman.
“After the attack, women and children were separated from the men, and the captured men were transported by military trucks to a landfill at Ivan Polje, a few kilometers from Novoseoci, where they were brought to the edge of the landfill, and shot and killed with gunfire,” read a statement by the prosecution.
Koprivica allegedly participated in the murders by shooting the victims with an automatic weapon.
The youngest victim was 14 years old, and the oldest was 77 years old. Of the 44 victims, 43 bodies have been exhumed. The remains of one other person have not yet been recovered.
Following the killings, Novosteoci’s local mosque was destroyed, and the rubble cast over the victims’ bodies at the Ivan Polje landfill.
The indictment was forwarded to the Bosnian state court for confirmation.
Koprivica was extradited from Canada to Bosnia earlier this month. He had been living in Canada for several years.
Koprivica’s case makes up part of an ongoing court case into the killings in Novoseoci village. Other individuals on trial are Dragomir Obradovic, former commander of the Public Security Station in Sokolac, Momcilo Pajic, former commander of the Military Police Company with the Second Romanija Motorised Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army. Pajic’s deputy Aleksa Gordic is also on trial.
Miladin Gasevic, former deputy commander of the Reconnaissance Company of the Second Romanija Motorised Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, Momir and Branislav Kezunovic, Zeljko Gasevic and Jadranko Suka, all former members of the company, are also on trial for the killings.
Earlier this month, the Bosnian state prosecution charged former police officer Miodrag Djurkic with carrying out crimes against humanity, including prisoner abuse, in 1992.
Bosnia’s human rights ombudsperson, Jasminka Dzumhur, was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to serve as a member of a committee to investigate possible human rights violations during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
She warned survivors of possible war crimes in Ukraine that “their path to justice will be long and uncertain, that it will demand many sacrifices from them and that along the way they are unlikely to find many allies.”
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