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Former Bosnian Croat military police commander surrenders to UN Tribunal

Former Bosnian Croat military police commander surrenders to UN Tribunal

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A former Bosnian Croat military police commander charged with murder and other crimes against humanity turned himself in today to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and was transferred to the court's detention unit in The Hague.

Pasko Ljubicic was the commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion of the HVO Military Police until 1 July 1993 and then the Assistant Chief of Military Police Administration for the Central Bosnia Operative Zone until November 1993, the Tribunal said.

He is alleged to have "planned, instigated, ordered committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of a crime against humanity by persecuting Bosnian Muslims on political, racial, or religious grounds throughout the municipalities of Vitez and Busovaca." The Tribunal is charging him with both individual responsibility for the crimes and culpability for those committed by troops under his command.

According to the indictment, approximately 100 civilians were killed and numerous others seriously injured when the villages of Ahmici, Nadioci, Pirici and Santici were attacked on 16 April 1993. Prior to the attack, Mr. Ljubicic allegedly ordered his subordinates to kill all Muslims of military age.

In addition, the indictment charges that Bosnian Muslim property was plundered, and that civilians were detained and forced to dig trenches at or near the front lines, while being subjected to physical and psychological abuse and intimidation. Bosnian Muslim civilians were also expelled from their homes and forcibly transferred by the HVO Military Police and other members of the HVO to other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.