Friday, May 27, 2005

Serbian prosecutor: More mass grave related indictments soon

BELGRADE -- Thursday – War crimes indictments may soon be issued as a result of the exhumation of the bodies of murdered Albanians from various mass grave sites uncovered in Serbia recently.

While visiting locations in Batajnica where the remains of those Albanian victims are being kept, investigative judge of the Belgrade District Court, Milan Dilparic, said that there is a strong possibility that war crimes indictments will be issued by the end of this year if the investigation continues at the same speed at which it is currently going.

Dilparic said that he expects that the investigation will be finished by the end of the year, but that in order for the indictments to be finalized, UNMIK and The Hague become involved in the process. However, he said that the investigation cannot be finished until the identities of all the victims have been confirmed, as well as the method and place of the murders.

The remains of the Albanian victims will be handed over to UNMIK officials tomorrow by representatives of the Coordination Center at the KFOR base located in Merdara. The remains are being kept in tunnels that were once used for growing mushrooms, and according to Dilparic, the natural conditions and temperature in the tunnels are ideal for preserving corpses.

In Batajnica the skeletal remains of 709 individuals were exhumed and reparations have been done on 356 bodies so far. At the grave site in Petrovo Selo, 77 bodies were exhumed from two separate burrows. The bodies were exhumed during 2001-2002 and have been kept in the tunnels under the protection of the police since then.

Meanwhile, bodies of 64 Albanian, were return today in Kosovo[Kosova]. The trickiling of dead Albanians bodies from Serbia in Kosovo has been going on for the last 4 years. It is not known how many more mass graves are in Serbia. International Insitution have estimated that Serb forces killes between 100,00-120,00 Albanians during the war in 98-99. A significant number of these were taked to Serbia and buried in mass graves to hide the crimes.Both sides, Belgrade in particular, have been criticised for dragging their feet and prolonging the suffering of surviving relatives. Beta & RTK.

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