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Bosnia: Croat War Crimes Suspects Plead Not Guilty

The Hague, 8 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Ten Bosnian Croat war crimes suspects pleaded not guilty today before the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague on charges relating to one of the worst atrocities against Muslims during the war in Bosnia.

Dario Kordic was the most prominent of 10 Bosnian Croats who surrendered to the tribunal on Monday after being promised a speedy trial.

Kordic and three others are charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes for allegedly leading the Bosnian Croat troops who killed and tortured Muslim men, women and children, and drove hundreds more from 14 towns in the central Lasva Valley in 1992 and 1993. Six lower-ranking suspects are charged with participating in a massacre in the mostly Muslim village of Ahmici in central Bosnia.

If convicted, the 10 face up to life imprisonment. The tribunal has no death penalty. No trial date was set at today's arraignment.