Srebrenica war crimes suspect arrested in France

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A former Serbian paramilitary suspected of taking part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of nearly 8,000 Muslims in Bosnia was Tuesday behind bars in southeastern France.

Milorad Momic was formally identified by French authorities on Tuesday after being arrested a day earlier near the Alpine town of Grenoble under an international arrest warrant issued by Serbia for crimes against humanity.

The 47-year-old had been living in France under a false identity and was working in the construction industry, officials said. He is being held in nearby Varces prison while a Serbian extradition request is being processed.

Momic is accused of being a member of the Serbian paramilitary Scorpions unit which took part in the massacre, the worst such atrocity in Europe since World War II.

Four Scorpion members were given sentences of up to 20 years by a Serbian court in 2007 after a video emerged of them shooting captured Muslims at Srebrenica.

After capturing the then UN-protected enclave on July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serbs summarily executed around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in just a few days.

The massacre was ruled genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the UN's top court, the International Court of Justice.

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic is currently standing trial before the ICTY, notably for crimes committed at Srebrenica.

© 2011 AFP

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