Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Israel Police Arrest 1995 Srebrenica Massacre Suspect

Israel Police have arrested and are preparing to extradite a suspect in connection with a massacre in the town of Srebrenica.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/19/2011, 10:42 AM / Last Update: 1/19/2011, 10:48 AM

Israel Police have arrested and are preparing to extradite a suspect in connection with a massacre in the town of Srebrenica.

The Bosnian government sent an extradition request to Israel last August, asking for the return of Aleksander Cvetkovic, who is suspected of participating in the 1995 mass murder.

Cvetkovic became an immigrant to Israel and received citizenship when he arrived here with his wife, who is Jewish, and children in 2006, according to a statement by the Justice Ministry.

But after months of reviewing the evidence, the ministry decided to honor the extradition request from Bosnia and issued a warrant for Cvetkovic's arrest. The extradition, said the state prosecutor's office, is part of “an international legal action that investigates and prosecutes those responsible for planning and carrying out genocide.”

At least 8,372 Muslim men and boys were murdered in and around Srebrenica, including 775 who were newly identified and laid to rest in a mass burial six months ago.

Despite a declaration by the United Nations of the besieged enclave as a “safe area” under U.N. Protection in 1993, the U.N. Protection Force in July 1995 failed to prevent the town's capture – and the subsequent massacre of thousands of civilians by Bosnian Serbs.

The ministry said that according to the evidence provided by the Bosnian government, Cvetkovic was an active participant in the 1995 massacre, and was one of the eight soldiers in the firing squad.

“Hundreds of Bosnian civilians were bused to the farm handcuffed and blindfolded,” the ministry said in its statement. “They were led to the killing fields where firing squads made up of Bosnian-Serb soldiers shot them in cold blood.”

The murders were accompanied by the forcible transfer of all of the women, children and elderly. In 2004, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague ruled that the massacre and transfer constituted a crime of genocide.