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Three Indicted for War Crimes Surrender

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

BRUSSELS, Feb. 26, 1998 – Three alleged Bosnian Serb war criminals indicted by the International Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia have surrendered to NATO stabilization forces in Bosnia.

Simo Zaric turned himself in Feb. 24 and has been transferred to The Hague for trial. Zaric is charged with driving Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims out of the northern town of Bosanski Samac while he was head of police there.

Ten days earlier, Milan Simic and Miroslav Taric also surrendered. Simic and Taric are also charged with crimes against non-Serbs in Bosanski Somac. All three claim they are innocent.

Zaric's surrender brings the number of indictees now in The Hague to 23, according to tribunal officials. There are still 51 indicted war criminals at large, including former Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.

NATO Secretary General Javier Solana hailed the surrenders as another step toward peace. "NATO has repeatedly made clear that the surrender of persons indicted for war crimes is an essential part of building peace and reconciliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina," he said.

Solana said he hopes that by voluntarily surrendering, the three men have set an example for other indicted war criminals. "They too, will be held accountable," he said. "They should take steps immediately to surrender themselves to the custody of the International Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia."

Solana also called upon the parties to the peace agreement to meet their obligation to transfer indicted war criminals to the tribunal. He said the NATO stabilization force is prepared to help tribunal officials secure voluntary surrenders or detain indicted war criminals in accordance with its mandate.

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