20 years since massacre of ambushed JNA troops

Tuesday marks 20 years since the ambush on a convoy of soldiers of the former Yugoslav Peoples' Army (JNA) that was retreating from Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Source: Tanjug

The deadly attack happened on May 15, 1992, resulting in at least 50 JNA soldiers killed and 44 wounded.

The case, treated as a war crime by the Serbian judiciary, is known as the Tuzla Column.

The deadly attack took place only 12 days after a similar ambush staged in Sarajevo's Dobrovoljačka Street, when Bosnian Muslim paramilitary unit "the Green Berets", along with the Patriotic League and Bosnian Territorial Defense killed at least 42 JNA troops.

The Hague Tribunal assigned the letter A to four suspects in the Tuzla Column case, which means that based on the supplied evidence, it was determined that there had been a war crime committed and enough evidence to prosecute the persons.

However, in December 2009, the Bosnian Prosecutor's Office suspended the investigation against Tuzla's wartime mayor Selim Beslagić and other suspects.

In 2009, Belgrade District Court sentenced Ilija Jurišić, wartime police commander from Tuzla, to 12 years in prison for his involvement in the war crime, but in 2010, the Court of Appeal in Belgrade overturned the sentence, ordering a re-trial, which is underway before the Belgrade special court.

Jurišić, then a senior police official and duty officer in the Tuzla public security center operational headquarters, was found guilty of improper battlefield conduct. He is charged with acting on an order of a superior of his and instructing Bosnian-Croatian units to attack the JNA convoy that was peacefully retreating from the city.

The re-trial in the Jurišić case began in July 2011. Jurišić has in the meantime returned to Bosnia.

Media in Bosnia's Serb entity, RS, have been reporting that, according to information collected by RS authorities, at least 59 JNA soldiers were killed, while about 150 were wounded or taken prisoners only in the part of Tuzla known as Brčanska Malta.

According to some media and other sources in the Muslim-Croat Bosnian Federation entity, “the balance sheet of the battle is 160 killed and 200 wounded JNA soldiers", Tanjug is reporting.

Crime

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