06 Nov 13
Yugoslav Army Commander Indicted for Kosovo Attacks
A Serbian court indicted former Yugoslav commander Toplica Miladinovic for allegedly ordering attacks on four Kosovo villages in which scores of Albanians were killed in 1999.
|The Jackals paramilitary unit I Photo: BIRN|
In the case against 11 Serbian fighters charged with killing at least 100 Albanians in the Kosovo villages of Cuska, Ljubenic, Pavlan and Zahac in spring 1999, Belgrade special court changed its indictment to accuse Miladinovic, the commander of the 177th squad of the Yugoslav Army, of ordering the operation.
In the new version of the indictment, Miladinovic allegedly ordered two attacks on the villages, aimed at forcibly removing the ethnic Albanian population from the area.
“The first order was given on April 1, 1999, for the attack on the Albanian population in the village of Ljubenic, while the second order was given on May 14, 1999, ordering the attack on Cuska, Pavlan and Zahac, all in the municipality of Pec,” the new indictment reads. In the previous version, Miladinovic was not accused of ordering the Ljubenic operation.
The case against the former Serbian fighters, members of the 177th Yugoslav Army squad, territorial defence forces and the Jackals paramilitary unit, is currently the largest war crimes trials in the Belgrade court.
According to the indictment, Miladinovic, Srecko Popovic, Slavisa Kastratovic, Boban Bogicevic, Radoslav Brnovic, Veljko Koricanin, Abdulah Sokic, Milojko Nikolic, Sinisa Misic, Dejan Bulatovic and Ranko Momic were responsible for killing, looting and expelling a large number of Albanians from the area around the town of Pec/Peja amid the conflict with Kosovo Liberation Army.
The amended indictment also makes additional allegations against Misic, accusing him of participating in shootings in Ljubenic, where at least 43 people were killed, and of unlawfully confiscating a car from the village of Cuska.
It also accuses another of the fighters, Sokic, of killing two people in Cuska.
The new version of the indictment also lists the names of five people – Nenad Lekic, Vladan Krstovic, Lazar Pavlovic, Ivanovic Milan and Predrag Vukovic – who are currently being investigated by the prosecution on suspicion of participating in the attacks.
Krstovic, current commander of the Serbian special police, was arrested in May this year on suspicion of committing war crimes, but he was released a day later….