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FOTO: Cedomir Kljajic

War Crimes in Bosnia: Cedo Kljajic and Canadian Justice

Proceedings towards Cedo Kljajic, a former Serbian official in the course of the warfare in Bosnia, started in Ottawa on Monday. Targeted by the federal authorities for its alleged position within the crimes dedicated throughout this warfare, it may lose its Canadian citizenship.

For 25 years, this Bosnian Serb lived in a housing cooperative in Gatineau along with his spouse and three kids. Before retiring, he labored as a bus driver, the Kljajic household, whom they met in September 2017, tells us.

Before that, Mr. Kljajic had been a police officer in Sarajevo for 17 years. And in the course of the warfare in Bosnia, he had been Undersecretary of Public Security on the Ministry of the Interior of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia (MUP RS). From Ottawa, the person notably witnessed the trial of Radovan Karadzic on the International Criminal Tribunal for the previous Yugoslavia in 2013. However, he was not personally the topic of fees earlier than the court docket.

What position in warfare crimes?

In the early 1990s, the MUP RS participated in pressured evictions, ethnic cleaning and massacres of non-Serb civilians. Kljajic was then quantity three within the group’s hierarchy, in keeping with federal prosecutors, who say he should be held accountable for the systematic assaults perpetrated towards non-Serb civilians in the course of the warfare.

As a result, the Ministers of Immigration and Public Safety of Canada consider that he would now not be eligible for Canadian citizenship or everlasting residence since he obtained them by means of false statements.

On his utility for everlasting residence filed in 1995, obtained by Subway, Mr. Kljajic indicated that he was a lawyer in Sarajevo and Belgrade from 1980 to 1993. In query 27F of the shape, Mr. Kljajic was to state whether or not he had been concerned in crimes towards humanity throughout conflicts. He replied within the destructive.

If the federal authorities wins, the 63-year-old might be deported to Bosnia.

“We control Sarajevo”

Despite his place, Cedo Kljajic indicated specifically in his protection filed with the Federal Court of Canada that he was not conscious of the navy operations of the MUP RS and that he was exterior Sarajevo throughout his tenure as Undersecretary.

Numerous recordings between Serbian officers have been filed with the International Criminal Tribunal for the previous Yugoslavia throughout varied trials for crimes towards humanity. In certainly one of these recordings relationship from May 1992 and obtained by Subway, two males are heard discussing the warfare scenario. One of them, posing as Cedo Kljajic, chats with Commander Stojan Zupljanin, charged with genocide and warfare crimes. Kljajic talks about navy management of Sarajevo, deprivation of water to Sarajevans by the RS MUP.

Extract of the recording obtained by Subway:

Erna Mackic, former editor-in-chief of the Balkan Investigative Journalism Network in Bosnia (BIRN BiH), has extensively lined the trials of warfare criminals within the former Yugoslavia. In mild of this recording, she considers it inconceivable that Mr. Kljajic was unaware of navy operations.

“He appoints a number of senior MUP RS officers there, talks concerning the folks he would place on the entrance line on the Sarajevo Jewish cemetery, navy operations, the scenario in a number of cities the place there have been atrocities. We can simply deduce that he had a managerial place, that he was recognized to senior officers within the Bosnian Serb Republic and that he was conscious of all of the navy actions of the RS MUP and the Serbian military. ” , says the previous journalist from Sarajevo.

The Jewish cemetery in Sarajevo was the battlefield of the Serbian military in the course of the siege of Sarajevo, which claimed the lives of no less than 5,000 civilians and a number of other thousand combatants.

No remark

Contacted by Subway, Cedo Kljajic’s lawyer, Me Déborah Énokou, had no feedback to make concerning her revelations. “You will have the answers to your questions during the trial,” she stated by e mail.

At his dwelling, Cedo Kljajic refused to talk to us in 2017. Mr. Kljajic’s eldest son and partner agreed to talk with us. They claimed that he was unaware of the navy operations of the MUP RS however that his perform would have enabled him to ship his spouse and kids to Belgrade by helicopter.

“My father labored for the MUP RS on paper, however he didn’t take part in warfare crimes. (…) My father had to consider us, he accepted this job to avoid wasting us, ”argued Danijel Kljajic. According to him, his father lied on his kind as a result of he was afraid of reprisals. This can be what the accused signifies in his protection to the Federal Court. Subway tried to contact Danijel Kljajic to offer him a possibility to replace his claims. We haven’t obtained a response.

The hearings earlier than the Federal Court will final eight days. Cedo Kljajic will testify Thursday and Friday in Ottawa.

Riol Malone/ By OBN

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