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27 Jul, 2010 19:11

UK government wants to whitewash Bosnian war crime – expert

A UK court has blocked the extradition of former acting Bosnian president Ejup Ganic to Serbia where he is wanted on war crimes charges.

Ganic is accused of ordering the deaths of more than 40 Yugoslav army soldiers, mostly Serbs, in Sarajevo at the beginning of the Bosnian War in 1992.

Serb authorities wanted him to stand trial and sought his extradition from UK, where he had been arrested earlier.

Ejup Ganic was seized at Heathrow airport in March after Serbia issued an international arrest warrant. However, Ganic denies being responsible for the atrocities.

According to Balkans expert Misha Gavrilovich, whether it was Ganic or not, there were war crimes committed in Sarajevo in 1992 and the case remains unresolved, as Britain does its best to whitewash the case.

”There is one thing we can be absolutely clear here and that is a war crime has taken place – 40 people are dead. The Yugoslav soldiers who were perfectly legitimate in Bosnia at the time had tried to withdraw through a UN brokered agreement, which was with Mister Ganic’s people, and yet, they were shot at and 40 of them were murdered. It is a war crime. It needs to be resolved in some way.”

”It does not follow that Mister Ganic would have been found guilty for this. He was simply in charge of the Bosnian Muslim forces at the time. He was a standing president, hence the authority to carry out such an action came from him and he was responsible for it,” Gavrilovich added. “If it turned out that it was not him, then certainly a trial would find out who was responsible.”

”The important thing is we must be quite clear about – a war crime has taken place and it must be resolved, but the British government may well want to whitewash this whole thing because they, themselves, have taken the side of the Bosnian Muslim and Mister Ganic’s separatists in Bosnia at the time. This is very important to bear in mind.”