Ex-Bosnian army commander Atif Dudakovic arrested on war crimes charges | News | DW | 27.04.2018
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Ex-Bosnian army commander Atif Dudakovic arrested on war crimes charges

Former General Atif Dudakovic has been arrested in connection with war crimes allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War. He has previously denied the charges, calling them politically motivated.

Police have detained former Bosnian Muslim army commander Atif Dudakovic and 11 others on suspicion of committing crimes against humanity during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, authorities in Bosnia said on Friday.

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All those arrested were commanders and members of the Bosnian army's 5th Corps, which under Dudakovic's leadership was in charge of the northwestern Bihac area. The area was under almost constant Serb siege for most of the conflict.

The prosecutor's office said Dudakovic and others were suspected of having carried out atrocities against hundreds of ethnic Serb and Bosnian civilians and prisoners during the war. It said the case against them was based on more than 100 witness interviews, video footage and evidence from exhumations.

Read more: Bosnian bone-hunter: No punishment is enough for Mladic

Popular figure

Dudakovic, 64, whom many Bosniaks see as a wartime hero for his role in fighting the Belgrade-backed Serbs, has previously described all charges against him as politically motivated and has denounced the video footage as fabricated.

He became the army's top commander after the war.

Atif Dudakovic (picture-alliance/AP Images)

Dudakovic was the wartime commander of the Bosnian army's 5th Corps

The war in Bosnia erupted in 1992 when ethnic Serbs, who made up some 32.5 percent of the population, rejected the result of a referendum that would have paved the way for the country to emerge as an independent state from the disintegrating former Yugoslavia. They supported a continued union with Serbia, setting them at odds with Bosniaks and Croats who wanted an end to Belgrade's dominance.

It is estimated that some 100,000 people were killed during the conflict, during which all three ethnic groups suffered atrocities.

Read more: Former Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic found guilty of genocide, sentenced to 40 years

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tj/kms (Reuters, dpa, AP)

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