November 03, 1997
UN demands court act over killing of Bosnian Serb
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (Reuters) - The United Nations said Monday it was deeply concerned over the failure of Bosnian authorities to try suspects accused of killing an 80-year-old Serb man earlier this year.
``The United Nations is increasingly uneasy with the lack of progress and the tardiness of local authorities in ensuring that justice is done in the savage murder case of Mr. (Slavko) Subotic,'' Liam McDowall, a spokesman for the U.N. mission, told reporters.
Subotic was bludgeoned to death last March by a mob of mostly female Bosnian Muslim refugees who dragged him out of a car and beat him with sticks and stones, McDowall said.
The retiree and his wife were attacked as they tried to visit an Orthodox Christian graveyard in a village near the town of Visoko. They were driven to the village by a Muslim friend who pleaded with the mob not to assault the couple.
The refugees were mainly women from eastern Bosnia, including the enclave of Srebrenica, which fell to Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995 amid a massacre of thousands of Muslim men.
Only two of 15 suspects in the case bothered to show up for a court hearing in a Visoko court last month, McDowall said.
The chief judge of the Visoko court refused to cooperate with U.N. police monitors who had asked to see copies of statements made by the two suspects, he said.
``This is a ghastly murder that seriously tarnishes the reputation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Muslim-Croat Federation in particular as a place where people can live without fear of being beaten to death because they are from a different ethnic group,'' McDowall said.
``The U.N. is looking to Federation authorities for rapid progress in this case.''