August 27, 2015 / 4:33 PM / 4 years ago

Srebrenica defender indicted over Serbs' killings: prosecutor

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - A Bosnian Muslim wartime commander who defended Srebrenica against separatist Serb forces was indicted on Thursday for war crimes over the alleged killing of three Serb prisoners of war, Bosnia’s state prosecutor’s office said.

Swiss authorities arrested Naser Oric in June on a warrant from Serbia over the killings of Serbs near Srebrenica during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

His detention caused an uproar among Bosnian Muslims, or Bosniaks, many of whom see him as a hero.

He was later extradited to Bosnia, which insisted he should be tried in the country where the crimes allegedly took place.

Bosnian Serbs captured Srebrenica, a designated United Nations “safe haven”, in July 1995 and killed more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the days that followed. It was Europe’s worst mass killing since World War Two and a U.N. war crimes tribunal said it constituted genocide.

Oric, who had been in charge of organizing the Srebrenica defense, was indicted along with Bosnian Muslim soldier Sabahudin Muhic, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

“The defendants are accused of murdering three Serb prisoners of war in the villages Zalazje, Lolici and Kunjerac in 1992,” the statement said.

Upon his arrival to Bosnia, Oric was questioned by the prosecution, which released him from custody but ordered a restriction on his movements.

The prosecutor’s office said it would send an arrest warrant to Switzerland for Elfeta Veseli, a woman accused of killing a Serb child during the war. It said she was involved in the same case, but did not give any more detail about her identity.

The indictment has yet to be confirmed by the Bosnian state court.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and Andrew Heavens

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