By Sven Milekic
Zagreb state attorney’s office filed an indictment accusing 22 members of rebel Croatian Serb forces of committing war crimes against Croats in villages in the Slavonia region in 1991.
The state attorney’s office in Zagreb announced on Saturday that it has charged 22 former members of rebel Serb forces for war crimes in the villages of Cetekovac, Balinci and Cojlug in the eastern region of Slavonia in September 1991.
Eight of the indictees are accused of commanding the other 14 to “molest, beat and murder” Croat civilians, as well ordering them to “illegally take [the civilians] hostage”.
The eight indictees also ordered the others to “torture and kill prisoners of war” and rob Croat civilians, and to burn and destroy 59 of their homes and business facilities, as well as a local Catholic church, the charges claim.
Some of the eight commanders are further accused of “personally taking part in torture and killings of civilians and prisoners of war”.
The indictment claims that the suspects were responsible for large-scale shelling, which killed some civilians and destroyed or damaged their property.
According to the indictment, the accused killed ten villagers in Bajinci in their own houses.
The indictment says that the accused set an ambush on the roads surrounding the villages and killed seven more civilians who were passing through in their cars.
The suspects are also accused of capturing a group of civilians who hid under the bridge between Bajinci and Cetekovac and made them walk along as a human shield, and killed two people who refused.
In Cetekovci, the accused beat and kicked two captured Croatian police officers, killing them afterwards, according to the indictment
In total, the accused are suspected of killing 20 civilians and two prisoners of war.
Zagreb county court will now decide whether to confirm the indictment.