Former commander of the joint forces of the Republika Srpska MUP that participated in the Srebrenica operation in July 1995 will enter his plea on the counts of the indictment against him within 30 days

Ljubomir Borovcanin, general of the Republika Srpska police, commander of the MUP joint forces that participated in the VRS-run Srebrenica operation in July 1995, stated today that he understood the indictment and was “aware of the nature of the charges”, but was nevertheless “unable to enter a plea today.” The reason he quoted today at his initial appearance before an ICTY judge was that “the status of the defense counsel has not been resolved yet”. He selected a Banja Luka attorney Miodrag Stojanovic whom he wanted to consult him before entering his plea. However, the Registry has yet to confirm his appointment.

Judge Agius accepted Borovcanin’s request and ordered that the next appearance of the accused before the Tribunal be scheduled in 30 days. Although the accused did not enter his plea, the judge presented the basic allegations of the indictment against Borovcanin, in the interest of the accused and of the public, as the judge said. Borovcanin is charged with participation in a “joint criminal enterprise” the objective of which was to make it impossible for the Muslim population to continue to live in the Srebrenica enclave. This was achieved by deporting about 30,000 women and children and the execution of at least 7,000 men.

The indictment alleges that on 12 July Borovcanin personally oversaw the forcible transfer of women and children from Potocari and the separation of men who were later executed. The next day, according to the indictment, Borovcanin was present at the warehouse in Kravica, where more that 1,000 Bosniak men were killed. From Kravica, Borovcanin went to a meadow near Sandici and personally oversaw the execution of the men who had surrendered or been captured. In the days that followed, forces under his control participated in mass executions in Orahovac, at the school and the dam in Petkovic, at the Branjevo farm, in the Pilica Cultural Hall and in Kozluk.