Ex-member of Bosnia's presidency charged with war crimes

Sarajevo (AFP) –


A former Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency has been charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes against Croats and Muslims in the 1992-1995 war, a Bosnian prosecutor said on Thursday.

The 72-year old Borislav Paravac, who served as a member of country's top body between 2003 and 2006, is the second Serb member of the collective presidency to be indicted for war crimes, after Momcilo Krajisnik who was jailed for 20 years by a UN war crimes court for his role in the inter-ethnic war in Bosnia.

Paravac and three other Bosnian Serbs are accused of having participated in "systematic attacks" against Croatian and Muslim population in the northern Doboj and Teslic region between May 1992 and end of 1993, the prosecutor said in a statement.

These "systematic attacks" resulted in "the expulsion of almost all the Muslim and Croat population, tens of thousands of people" and the "murder of hundreds of victims," the prosecutor said.

Paravac, who was the mayor of Doboj at the time and president of the town's "wartime crisis committee" is accused of having, with others, "organised attacks on villages and towns populated by Muslims and Croats, during which civilians were killed or captured and sent to camps".

The war among Bosnia's main ethnic communities -- Croats, Muslims and Serbs -- claimed 100,000 lives and left homeless some two million people, almost half of the country's pre-war population.