The state court in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s capital, Sarajevo, is set to deliver its verdict on October 9 on whether Bosnian Muslim wartime commander Naser Oric is a war criminal.
Oric, 50, is accused of war crimes against three Serb prisoners of war who were murdered in the Srebrenica area in 1992.
The former commander of Bosnian Muslims in the eastern town of Srebenica during Bosnia’s 1992-95 interethnic war and his co-defendant, ex-Bosnian army soldier Sabahudin Muhic, deny the charges.
Oric is seen as a hero by many Bosniaks for his role in defending Muslims during a war in which more than 100,000 people were killed.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY) sentenced Oric to two years in prison in 2006 for failing to prevent the murder and inhumane treatment of Serb prisoners, but he was immediately released because he had already served the time.
In 2008, the UN court’s appeals chamber overturned the verdict and cleared Oric .
Unhappy with the ex-commander’s acquittal, Belgrade in 2014 launched an international warrant over the killing of nine Serb civilians near Srebrenica in 1992.
Switzerland arrested Oric in 2015 on the warrant issued by Serbia but extradited him to Bosnia to face charges, a decision that caused anger in Belgrade. His trial started in Sarajevo in January 2016.