STRPCI HOSTAGE MASSACRE SUSPECTS ARRESTED
Image: Strpci Railway Station
1.Luka Dragičević – Republika Srpska Visegrad Brigade Commander
2.Boban Inđić, Visegrad Brigade Intervention Unit Commander
3. Radojica Ristić Kinez, Republika Srpska Army member, today postman in Visegrad
4. Novak Poluga, policeman in Visegrad
5. Obrad Poluga, Republika Srpska Army Veterans Association
6. Vuk Ratković, a volunteer from Serbia, who stayed to live in Visegrad after the war
7. Dragan Lakić, aka “mesar” – The Butcher
8.Momir Nikolić, – Republika Srpska Army member
9.Petko Inđić – Republika Srpska Army member
10. Oliver Krsmanović – Republika Srpska Army member
11. Gojko Lukić, brother of Milana Lukića
12. Ljubiša Vasiljević,
13. Duško Vasiljević,
14. Jovan Lipovac
Police in Serbia and Bosnia arrested 15 Bosnian Serbs suspected of involvement in the abductions and killings 21 years ago in a coordinated swoop early on Friday morning.
Those arrested include Gojko Lukic, the brother of the leader of the ‘Avengers’ paramilitary unit, Milan Lukic, who is already in jail for war crimes, as well as the commander of the Bosnian Serb Аrmy’s Visegrad Brigade, Luka Dragicevic, and the commander of the Visegrad Brigade’s Intervention Squad, Boban Indjic, Tanjug news agency reported.
The victims, who were seized on February 27, 1993, included 18 Bosniaks, one Croat and another person of unidentified nationality, the Serbian interior ministry said.
“The suspects took the passengers in a military truck to Visegrad, to the primary school in Prelovo. It is suspected that they took the civilians to the gym, where they beat them, physically abused them and took their money. Some of them were ordered to take off their clothes,” an interior ministry statement said.
They were then transported to the nearby village of Musici, where they were taken into a burned house by Milan Lukic and another person, the statement said.
They were then shot and their corpses were thrown into the River Drina the next day.
The remains of three of them have been found in Lake Perucac near Visegrad, while the other bodies are still missing.
Serbian war crimes prosecutor Bruno Vekaric welcomed Friday’s arrests, five of which were made in Serbia and the remaining ten in Bosnia.
“We are now on the path to solve the murder that has been hidden for more than 20 years. We have to do it for the innocent victims,” Vekaric was quoted as saying by the AP news agency.
Serbian justice minister Nikola Selakovic also welcomed the arrests, but added that he wanted people responsible for crimes against Serbs during the 1990s to face justice too.
“What people in Serbia have been expecting for more than two decades, as well as Serbs in [the rest of] the former Yugoslavia, is a greater willingness to prosecute those suspected of war crimes against the Serbian population, and it seems that is missing,” Selakovic said.
Milan Lukic was sentenced by the Hague Tribunal to life imprisonment for wartime crimes in Visegrad, but not for the abductions in Strpci.
A court in Montenegro did however jail a former member of Lukic’s unit, Nebojsa Ranisavljevic, for 15 years over the Strpci case.
During his trial it was proved that there was an advance plan for the abductions and that the Serbian Railway Company had informed the Serbian interior ministry and the Yugoslav People’s Army about the possibility of seizing the passengers.
The arrests on Friday came as a result of a joint investigation on the basis of a protocol on cooperation signed in January last year between Serbia and Bosnia.
The Serbian war crimes prosecution has been investigating the case, and on two occasions has questioned Lukic as a witness. It was also cooperating on the case with the Bosnian prosecution, as it is believed that the remains of the people killed were buried in a mass grave near Visegrad.
Those arrested have not yet been charged.