April 20, 2010 / 11:08 AM / 10 years ago

Croatia arrests suspect in Srebrenica massacre

ZAGREB, April 20 (Reuters) - Croatia has arrested a Slovenian citizen wanted by Bosnia on genocide charges over the 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, a police spokesman said on Tuesday.

"Franc Kos was arrested last night because there was an international arrest warrant for him," Krunoslav Zgela, a police spokesman in eastern Croatia, told Reuters.

Bosnian Serb troops executed around 8,000 Muslim men and boys after capturing Srebrenica, a United Nations-protected enclave in eastern Bosnia, in what is widely seen as Europe’s worst atrocity since the World War Two. Kos was detained on a bus at a border crossing with neighbouring Serbia and would be put in extradition detention pending further procedure, he said.

Bosnia’s state prosecutor’s office said in a statement that it would urgently request his extradition.

"Franc Kos, as a member of the Bosnian Serb Army 10th commando unit, is suspected of personally taking part in the killings of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys after the fall of the protected zone of Srebrenica in July 1995," it said.

Kos, 43, was born in Slovenia but also has a Bosnian passport. Local agencies quoted his lawyer as saying he was also wanted by Croatia and Slovenia.

The U.N. war crimes tribunal has sentenced nine Bosnian Serbs for their roles in the massacre and put another seven on trial. The Bosnian war crimes court has sentenced 12 and acquitted seven. The trials of eight suspects are under way.

Bosnian Serb army leader Ratko Mladic and his political chief Radovan Karadzic were both indicted for genocide over Srebrenica. Karadzic’s trial at The Hague tribunal is under the way while Mladic is still at large, believed to be hiding in Serbia. (Reporting by Zoran Radosavljevic and Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Paul Taylor)

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