Bosnian Croats mark anniversary of Grabovica massacre, 17 victims still missing

Bosnian Croats mark anniversary of Grabovica massacre, 17 victims still missing

Bosnian Croats mark anniversary of Grabovica massacre, 17 victims still missing Izvor: N1

Bosnian Croats marked the 26th anniversary of a massacre in the southern village of Grabovica, which left 33 locals dead. Most of the victims' body remains still have not been found.

The holy mass and ceremony of laying the wreaths at a local memorial site were attended by families, witnesses, veteran associations and the Croat political leadership.

The families are still searching for 17 victims, uncertain if they were buried or thrown in the nearby Neretva river.

The crime occurred during the Bosniak-Croat conflict in September 1993, when Bosnian Army members entered the village within a military operation and killed 33 civilians including a 4-year-old girl and 87-year-old man.

The international court for war crimes in former Yugoslavia, the Hague-based ICTY, had charged wartime Bosnian Army senior officer Sefer Halilovic with the Grabovica crimes on grounds of superior criminal responsibility, after finding that the Bosnian Army forces were sent to Grabovica following his order.

The court determined in November 2005 following almost a 10-month long trial that the murders of Grabovica were considered crimes but that Halilovic had no command authority and could not be considered responsible. The prosecution appealed the ruling but the court confirmed the acquittal verdict two years later.

The ICTY said that all the evidence presented and in light of its actual finding did not prove that Halilovic had effective control over the troops in Grabovica on the day when the massacre happened.

In 2008, the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed three verdicts of local courts sentencing three Bosnian Army soldiers Nihad Vlahovljak, Sead Karagic and Haris Rajkic of the Grabovica crimes.

The court determined that Vlahovljak ordered the executions while the other two carried out the order.

POVEZANE VIJESTI

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