Bosnian prosecutors charge 13 with war crimes against Serbs

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Bosnian prosecutors on Friday charged 13 former fighters in two separate cases of war crimes against Serb civilians and prisoners during the country's 1992-95 ethnic war.

The prosecutor's office first charged eight people with torturing more than 20 Serb civilians who were unlawfully imprisoned in 1992 in the area of Lukavac, in northeastern Bosnia. The suspects were members of various local militia.

Prosecutors said in a statement that two people died and all the victims suffered "grave physical and psychological injuries, sexual harassment, humiliations and other inhumane acts."

Prosecutors plan to call 42 witnesses to back their case. Bosnia's courts must confirm the indictment for the trial to be held.

In a separate statement, the prosecutor's office said later Friday that five other people were charged for atrocities against some 20 Serb prisoners of war in eastern Bosnia in 1992-93, around the towns of Gorazde and Visegrad.

The group — including former members of the Bosnian army and police units — are suspected of "torture, beatings, harassment and abuse in a humiliating manner as well as inflicting severe physical and psychological harm."

Two prisoners died from the torture, and one of their bodies was dumped into the Drina River and never found, the statement added.

Prosecutors said the allegations are backed with testimony from around 100 witnesses.

The war between Bosnia's Serbs and its Muslims and Croats killed more than 100,000 people and left millions homeless.