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Bosnia: Bosnian Serb Denies War Crimes At Notorious Camp

The Hague, 10 May 2002 (RFE/RL) - A Bosnian Serb former prison camp commander today denied responsibility for killings, rapes, and beatings at the notorious Omarska camp in 1992. Momcilo Gruban pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes at his initial appearance before the United Nations war crimes tribunal. Gruban, who surrendered voluntarily last week to The Hague tribunal for former Yugoslavia, is accused of responsibility for atrocities committed when he was a shift commander at Omarska.

The court has already tried and convicted others for crimes at Omarska, where Serbian forces rounded up more than 3,000 Bosnian Muslims and Croats in May-August 1992. Prosecutors say living conditions at the camp were brutal and severe beatings were commonplace.