Oric trial sheds new light on Srebrenica


Naser Oric was commander of the Bosnian Muslim military zone in Srebrenica in the early 1990s. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) described Oric as "a warlord, drunk with power". Soldiers from the Dutch UN battalion portrayed him as "a crook, a robber, a pimp and a murderer". He is the only Srebrenica Muslim to be tried at the ICTY. His trial, which began on 6 October 2004, has shed light on a little-known aspect of Srebrenica's history.

Of the many incidents of the wanton destruction of towns and villages attributed to Naser Oric, the attack on Kravica stands out. On 7 January 1999, while the population was preparing for the Christian Orthodox Christmas, several Bosnian units attacked the village. After the violence, the Serb women were left alone with their festive meals while dozens of their men lay dead in the streets, or strewn around the small village square. Although the indictment does not allege large-scale crimes, it details some horrendous acts. Detainees at the Srebrenica Police Station under Oric's command were allegedly beaten over the head with an iron bar, rifle butts, baseball bats and boots. Some were stabbed with knives and others had their teeth extracted with rusty pliers. Six detainees allegedly died as a result.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.