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COURTSIDE: Ranko Cesic Trial

First defendant to be extradited by Belgrade pleads not guilty.
By Mirna Jancic

The commander of Luka detention camp near Brcko in northern Bosnia last week pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and other crimes against non-Serbs committed there in May 1992.

Ranko Cesic was indicted alongside Goran Jesilic, the self-styled "Serbian Adolf", who admitted guilt for 12 murders at the camp in May 1992 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Several hundred Muslims and Croats allegedly died at Luka following the Serb takeover of Brcko.

The indictment charges him with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war. It alleges he visited Luka daily, selecting prisoners and beating, torturing and often killing them. Cesic is accused of personally killing around ten men, and of forcing two brothers to perform sexual acts on one another.

He is the first defendant to be extradited by the Yugoslav authorities under a new law on cooperation with the tribunal.

Mirna Jancic is an IWPR assistant editor.

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