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Srebrenica suspects in court as Bosnia war crimes chamber begins first genocide trial

[JURIST] The War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [HRW backgrounder] began hearing its first genocide case Tuesday with the opening of the trial of 11 Bosnian Serbs [case backgrounder] charged [indictment, PDF] for their role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The men charged with violating Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina [DOC text] include former army officers and special policemen accused of using machine guns and grenades to murder more than 1,000 Muslim men attempting to flee a United Nations safe zone in July 1995. The War Crimes Chamber opened in 2005 to ease the caseload of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website; JURIST news archive].

Including the 11 defendants in the current case, 36 people in total have been charged in connection with the Srebrenica massacre, Europe's worst mass killing since WWII. Two men believed to have masterminded the massacre, Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder], remain at large. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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