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Tribunal Issues First Indictments for War Crimes Against Serbs

March 22, 1996

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ An international tribunal issued the first indictment today for war crimes allegedly committed against Bosnian Serbs.

Zejnil Delalic, a former Bosnian government army officer, was indicted for his authority over a prison camp in central Bosnia that held Bosnian Serb inmates in 1992.

He is the first suspect known to be a Bosnian Muslim to be indicted by the tribunal.

The indictment charges him with with being in charge of guards guilty of murder, torture and rape of detainees at the Celebici camp.

Also indicted today were Zdrvako Mucic, a Croat identified by the tribunal as the camp commander, deputy commander Hazim Delic and Esad Landzo, a guard. Delic’s and Landzo’s ethnic backgrounds were not disclosed.

Delalic and Mucic are in custody. Mucic was arrested by Austrian authorities on Tuesday, and Delalic was arrested in Munich, Germany.

Delalic, Mucic and Delic are charged with at least 14 murders allegedly committed by their subordinates.

The indictments should go some way to silencing Serb criticism that the tribunal is biased against Serbs.

Of the 53 suspects indicted before Friday’s announcement, 46 were Serbs and seven were Croats.

The announcement raises to 55 the number of war crimes suspects indicted by the U.N. court. Only two are in tribunal custody: Bosnian Serbs Dusan Tadic and Gen. Djordje Djukic are awaiting trial in the tribunal’s Hague cell block.

The tribunal said earlier today that a Bosnian Serb arrested this week in Germany had already been indicted for atrocities at the notorious Serb-run Keraterm camp in 1992.

Goran Lajic, 28, is the first suspect previously indicted by the tribunal to have been arrested.

He was arrested Monday by German police near Nuremberg and will be handed to the court ``in coming weeks,″ tribunal spokesman Christian Chartier said.

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