Former colonel in Yugoslav army transferred to UN tribunal

Veselin Sljivancanin, charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility, faces two counts of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, two counts of violations of the customs of war, and two counts of crimes against humanity. He was transferred to ICTY custody yesterday.The indictment against Mr. Sljivancanin, charged along with Mile Mrksic and Mirosklav Radic, was confirmed on 7 November 1995. Slavko Dokmanovic was also added to the same list by a second amended indictment dated 2 December 1997.According to the indictment, in August 1991 JNA surrounded the city of Vukovar and engaged in a sustained artillery attack on the city until it fell three months later. JNA and Serb paramilitary soldiers, aided and abetted by Dokmanovic, and under the command or supervision of Mrksic, Radic and Sljivancanin, removed about 400 non-Serb individuals from the Vukovar Hospital where they had sought refuge.They transported around 300 of them to a farm building in Ovcara, where they beat them for several hours. Afterwards, soldiers transported their non-Serb captives in groups of about 10 to 20 to a site between the Ovcara farm and Grabovo, where they shot and otherwise killed at least 198 men and 2 women. Mr. Sljivancanin was a major in the JNA in command of a military police battalion and also served as the security officer for the Guards Brigade. He was the operation commander for the JNA in the later stages of the siege of Vukovar and was then promoted to the rank of colonel and placed in command of a JA brigade in Podgorica, Montenegro.ICTY said Mr. Sljivancanin initial hearing will be announced in due course.

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