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War Crimes Suspect's Transfer To Bosnia Marks A First

29 September 2005 -- The international war crimes tribunal in the Hague has made a landmark handover of a Bosnian Serb suspect to allow for a trial in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The suspect, Radovan Stankovic, is a former soldier from a Bosnian Serb military unit accused of the torture and rape of Bosnian Muslims and other crimes.

His case was transferred today to a Bosnian state court in Sarajevo, where he was expected to arrive today.

It marks the first case of a transferal by the tribunal to that country's judiciary, although some lower-ranking war crimes suspects accused of war crimes after the breakup of Yugoslavia are already being tried in Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro, also successor states to the former Yugoslavia.

Most war crimes cases stemming from the conflicts that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s are being handled by the UN tribunal, officially called the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).