From: Exit Staff
Army Commander Accused of War Crimes Becomes MP in Serbian Parliament

Svetozar Andric, a former commander in the Bosnian Serb Army during the Bosnian war, became a member of the Serbian parliament on Tuesday, BIRN reported.

He was the commander of the Birac Brigade, and also the chief of staff of the Drina Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army during the war that lasted from 1992 to 1995.

Andric’s party, the Serbian Patriotic Alliance came third in the June 2020 elections, with 11 MPs in the 250-seat parliament.

The Humanitarian Law Centre in Belgrade filed a criminal complaint against Andric with the War Crimes Prosecution Office in 2018, accusing him of ordering the eviction of Bosniaks from the town of Zvornik on May 28, 1992.

“A few days later, on May 31, 1992, Andric issued an order to establish the Susica [detention] camp in Vlasenica. The camp existed until September 30, 1992, and during that period, the detainees were kept in inhumane conditions – they slept on concrete, received one meal a day, and did not enjoy basic hygienic conditions,” the centre said in a statement.

The detainees were beaten on a daily basis, women were raped, and about 160 detainees were killed, according to the center.

It added that under Svetozar Andric’s order, his brigade persecuted Bosniaks from more than 20 villages in the Vlasenica municipality in May 1992. One year later, his brigade burned Gobelje, one of these villages.

Andric denied allegations of crimes during his testimony at the trial of former Bosnian Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic in The Hague in 2015.

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