A Bosnian Serb suspected of participating in the massacre of sixty Bosnian Muslim civilians in 1992, was arrested on Monday, June 18, near Paris, by the gendarmes of the Central Office for the Fight Against Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide and War Crimes.
Radomir Susnjar is accused by Bosnian justice of having participated, along with other Serbian soldiers or paramilitaries, in the massacre of 59 Muslim civilians in Visegrad, eastern Bosnia, on 14 June 1992.
Following an arrest warrant issued by the authorities in Sarajevo, the sexagenarian, who lives in the Paris region, was arrested for the first time in April 2014 in Seine-et-Marne, but appealed his extradition and had been placed under judicial control.
This appeal was rejected in 2016 by the investigating chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal, which led him to appeal to the Court of Cassation. Among the arguments put forward by Susnjar’s defence team was that he was the victim of mistaken identity, having been confused with a another man called “Milan Susnjar”.
Since the Court of Cassation dismissed his appeal, the Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, issued an extradition decree on 19 June 2017, against which Radomir Susnjar lodged an appeal, which was dismissed by the State Council of Appeal.
The Bosnian authorities, who have charged Susnjar with war crimes, now have seven days to repatriate him. His lawyer, Olivier Morice, however, has said that he will petition the European Court of Human Rights to suspend the decision of the State Council.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has already sentenced two members of the Serb paramilitary group Beli Orlovi (“The White Eagles”) involved in the Visegrad massacre.
Milan and Sredoje Lukic, two cousins, were sentenced to life imprisonment and 27 years’ imprisonment, respectively. During his trial, Milan Lukic named “Milan Susnjar” as an accomplice in the massacre. On the basis of which, Radomir Susnjar’s lawyers claim that their client is being confused with another man.
The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina killed around 100,000 people. Between April and June 1992, Bosnian Serb forces killed more than 1,500 civilians in Visegrad and its environs, according to the Bosnian Institute for Missing Persons.