COURTSIDES: Borovcanin Case

Srebrenica defendant goes on the run.

COURTSIDES: Borovcanin Case

Srebrenica defendant goes on the run.

A senior Bosnian Serb police commander charged in connection with the deaths of around 7,000 Bosniak men and boys in Srebrenica has absconded.

Ljubomir Borovcanin, former deputy commander of the Bosnian Serb interior ministry's special police brigade, failed to arrive in The Hague on September 23 as planned, and is now believed to be at large in Serbia.

The prosecutor's office told journalists that Borovcanin had failed to turn up at an unspecified location in Republika Srpska, RS, where he had agreed to surrender to tribunal officials who would then escort him to The Hague.

Borovcanin is charged with complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war.

The prosecution said that the accused had met with tribunal representatives in Banja Luka on August 27 and agreed to surrender to The Hague. The RS government - which had assured the tribunal that the transfer would go ahead - has been informed of his disappearance, and an explanation is now being sought.

Borovcanin was allegedly in the Srebrenica area at the time of the atrocities, July 11-18, 1995.

The indictment says he helped arrange systematic mass executions, "opportunist" killings and mistreatment of prisoners. He is also accused of organising the burial and reburial of Bosniak men and boys, aged 16 to 60.

It is alleged that he reported to the Bosnian Serb general Radoslav Krstic, who in 2001 was jailed for 46 years by The Hague for genocide over his role in ordering the massacre in Srebrenica. Krstic has since appealed against the sentence.

Chris Stephen is IWPR's Hague correspondent and project manager

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