Srebrenica Massacre Suspect Arrested in Israel
January 24, 2011
Aleksandar Cvetkovic is an Israeli citizen...
and a suspected genocidaire from the Srebrenica massacre.
The Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday extended the remand of an Israeli citizen suspected of participating in mass murder in Bosnia, until a final ruling on his extradition is handed down.
Aleksander Cvetkovic, a 42-year-old Israeli citizen, was arrested by Israeli police at the request of the Bosnia-Herzegovina government. Cvetkovic is suspected of participating in the mass murder of between 1,000 and 1,200 Bosnian Muslims during the 10-day genocidal killing known as the Srebrenica Massacre. Did the Israeli government not know about Cvetkovic's role in the massacre or did they not care? Who were the architects behind the massacre?
A visa photo of Cvetkovic from the Jerusalem Post
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that, according to the extradition request, Cvetkovic served in the tenth sappers unit of the Army of Republika Srpska, a combined Bosnian-Serbian force:
On July 16, 1995, the unit's commander summoned eight soldiers, including Cvetkovic, and ordered them to the city of Pilica, where they were to take part in the execution of Bosnian Muslim prisoners held in a local school. Cvetkovic and the other soldiers were then taken to the Branjevo farm, where they waited for the prisoners to arrive.
The prisoners were brought to the farm on buses, some of them handcuffed and blindfolded. They were then taken off the buses in groups of ten and led a short distance away, where the soldiers lined them up and shot them with automatic weapons, including both machine guns and pistols.
After each initial barrage, the soldiers would walk among the victims, locate wounded survivors and finish them off. The Bosnian requests asserts that at one point, Cvetkovic offered to use an M-84 machine gun to accelerate the killing. According to estimates by soldiers who took part in the killing, and by a few people who survived by pretending to be dead, the massacre went on for 10 hours.
At a subsequent trial of one of the soldiers, a witness told the court that the commander of the force had ordered the military drivers and policemen present to kill at least one person each, so that they would not be tempted to testify against the soldiers who carried out the bulk of the killings.
Cvetkovic's wife Tatiana at the Jerusalem court. Cvetkovic is an Israeli citizen who immigrated to Israel with his wife in 2006.
Israeli writer Gilad Atzmon raises the key question of how a Zionist government that has committed many massacres will respond to the extradition request in an article entitled “Can A Criminal State Deal With War Criminals?”
Cvetkovic’s defense lawyer Vadim Shub said yesterday that Israel has never extradited citizens on charges of genocide, "and we do not think this is a proper place to begin.”
Shub obviously plucked the right string. He knows that the Israeli society is riddled with war criminals and mass murderers. Shimon Peres, Tzipi Livini, Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak amongst many others, have far more blood on their hands than suspect Cvetkovic.
In remarks to Israel's Army Radio, Shub insightfully suggested that extraditing Cvetkovic could set a precedent for the prosecution abroad, of numerous Israeli officials and military personnel.
"The perpetrator of the first genocide in Europe since the Holocaust shed some tears at Jerusalem’s district court. He was not sorry for his victims; he was sorry for being caught. Aleksandar Cvetkovic personally took sadistic enjoyment in executions of up to 1,200 unarmed Bosniak men and boys as young as 10 at Branjevo farm in July of 1995." - Genocide Awareness Network
Sources and Recommended Reading:
"Genocide Suspect Aleksandar Cvetkovic Arrested in Israel", Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, 18 January 2011
“Can A Criminal State Deal With War Criminals?” by Gilad Atzmon, 20 January 2011
“Captured by Israel, Serb War Criminal Aleksandar Cvetkovic - Bosnian Genocide Suspect”, by Genocide Awareness Network, 20 January 2011
Israel extends remand of suspect in Bosnia mass murder”, by Nir Hasson and Reuters, Haaretz, 19 January 2011