• Sweden edition
 

Sweden's first war crimes trial underway

Published: 13 Oct 2010 11:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Oct 2010 11:54 GMT+02:00

Ahmet Makitan was arrested in January following an investigation by the Swedish National War Crimes Commission (Rikskriminalpolisens krigsbrottskommission) carried out with the help of the United Nations International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

When the trial began, Makitan sat between one of his attorneys and a female interpreter. Wearing a green shirt and with his back turned toward the plaintiffs and the gallery of the Stockholm District Court, Makitan listened to the prosecutors opening statements in Swedish.

In a trial expected to last at least five months, Makitan will be made to answer accusations that he committed genocide. He will also meet several of the victims he is accused of torturing face to face when they are called to testify at the trial.

A former soldier with the Croatian defence force HOS, Makitan has been charged

with "aggravated war crimes and abduction," and stands accused of torturing Serb prisoners, including civilians, between May and August 1992, court documents showed.

Makitan, who was 25 at the time, allegedly committed the crimes while working as a guard at the Dretelj detention camp in southern Bosnia near the Neretva river, which served as a border line between the Serb and Bosnian-Croat fighters.

According to the charge sheet, which is based on witness accounts from around 30 former Serb prisoners, Makitan helped imprison civilians without due process and hold them hostage with the aim of using them for prisoner exchanges.

As an HOS guard at the camp, he also stands accused of inflicting serious injury on prisoners, depriving them of food and water and sufficient medical attention and making them do forced labour.

Prosecutors spend around 30 minutes on Wednesday reviewed cases in which Makitan, who was born in Bosnia Herzogovina and moved to Sweden in 2001 before taking citizenship in 2006, is accused of abusing and humiliating prisoners at the camp during the spring and summer of 1992.

Prosecutor Magnus Elving also did his best to explain why a Swedish court in 2010 is confronted with the bloody history of the Balkans in the 1990s.

“War criminals shouldn’t feel safe by fleeing. There shouldn’t be safe havens for war criminals anywhere,” said Elving, according to the TT news agency.

The indictment covers 21 victims who were held at the camp, and each one has detailed the abuses which Makitan is alleged to have committed. In addition, between ten and twenty witnesses from a number of different countries will be called to testify.

The Serbian victims, who will be represented by a number of Swedish lawyers during the trial, are demanding joint compensation from Makitan of around 5 million kronor ($750,000).

During the morning’s proceedings, Makitan only made one statement through his attorney Ola Salomonsson: that he objects to the accusations.

The prosecutor also emphasized that this is the first trial in Sweden of someone has been charged with war crimes.

“This is a small, rather crude field in Swedish courts,” said Elving.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:06 October 13, 2010 by Sam1
God bless Sweden!!! that no one on its land can escape justice!!!

there are murders and presidents who have committed mass murders in other countries still walk tall!!

Syria North korea, China, Mexico, Iran, (Arabia all together) Burma, Russia,Pakistan India, USA, etc etc etc..

People the world is going to go through a major cleansing it seems...WWIII is on its way ..
12:58 October 13, 2010 by LuxVeritas
No, WW3 is not on the way, but fear of it whilst undertaking all manner of insidious inhuman activities, along with private commercial murderous endeavours will; until we halt them once and for all. We the human beings number in the billions, they the insane elite cabal are in the thousands. We shall prevail, as more of us wake from our slumber of programmed apathy, refuse to comply with the sick false system and say no more, enough is enough.

Alongside the torturer should stand the commanding officer who gave the order and the politician that signed it. It is time for true justice, not laws without ethics, morality or humanity enforced by corrupt commercial courts under UCC in place of real law of the land and universal law. To add names to countries already mentioned; Bush, Clinton, Obama, Kissinger, Bryzinski, Blair, Blackwater/ Xe directors, black ops murderers of the defenceless innocents and all those with blood on their hands for profiteering from genocide, torture, war, occupation, pillaging, poisoning of peoples air, foodstuffs and water.

The only people who desire war are these inhuman sociopath scumbags who want us in fear so they can become rich and fat off our slavery, sweat and blood. They are our servants, not our masters, not our rapists or parasites. May every man and woman trained and without fear stand and be counted for all the human beings on this planet who do not form a part of their sick elite cabal of illuminated who dwell in soulless darkness.
13:35 October 13, 2010 by Sam1
LuxVeritas@

You think those people who have blood on their hands and have poisoned everything they can will be spared just like that, a murder regime :-) will turn into a good regime by just people saying NO!!!

No way a cup of milk being poisoned daily should be poured out cleant and new milk poured in , which means, they will be war and mass cleansing!!

NUKES!!! too...some people will become barbeque and many innocent will suffer..

but one has to pay for his negative actions!! it can not just be forgiven lives they killed they shall pay for with same action blood and suffering.
14:16 October 13, 2010 by asian369
he is Ahmet...oh no... put him on trial.
15:46 October 13, 2010 by ericrufinosiah
It is just a shame that a criminal by the name of Ahmet makitan was allowed to be

a Swedish citizen after having commited so many crimes in Bosnia and no wonder

Jimme Akesson is against such people but tthen was accused of being a racist and etc.perhaps the New Government should do some soul searching on the

background of the many immigrants welcomed to Sweden for the past 20 years.You might be surprised that some of them maybe " et "
22:26 October 13, 2010 by Iraniboy
@ericrufinosiah

In case you don't know, Ahmet and Jimmy have similar ideology. They both are far-right, nationalist Xenophibic and especially against Muslim population. Ahmet got a chance to implement it there in Bosnia, Jimmy hasn't!
20:26 October 16, 2010 by Sam1
true Iraniboy true!!!
Today's headlines
Getinge Floods
Swedish floods spread wider as rain continues
Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Swedish floods spread wider as rain continues

UPDATED: The flood in southern Sweden spread further on Wednesday, with forecasters predicting rain all week. With the defence minister on the scene, officials have warned that up to 8,000 households risk evacuation. READ  

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'

Foreign and Finance Ministers Carl Bildt and Anders Borg held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss how Sweden was being affected by a "less secure" world, and how it would foot the bill for a growing influx of refugees. READ  

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion

The now Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group announced a return to profits on Wednesday - thanks to the Swedish brand's popularity in China. READ  

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area. READ  

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire
Photo: Fanni Olin Dahl/TT

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire

The Slussen tunnel in Stockholm began billowing out black smoke on Wednesday afternoon. Police believe that the fire was connected to an attempted robbery earlier in the day. READ  

Elections 2014
Parties duel as refugee costs rocket
Photos: TT

Parties duel as refugee costs rocket

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and opposition leader Stefan Löfven clashed on Wednesday after the Migration Board asked for more money to handle Sweden's influx of refugees. READ  

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages
The Sami in northern Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages

Did you know there are five official minority languages in Sweden? The Local's Isabela Vrba finds out what they are, how they're protected, and what rights their speakers have. READ  

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

More and more Swedish boys are born with deformed penises, and researchers are uncertain exactly what's behind the increase. READ  

The Local List
What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet
Photos: Shutterstock/Imagebank Sweden

What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet

The Local Sweden has been asking readers to squeeze their view of Sweden into just 140 characters or less. Here's what you came up with up for #SwedeninaTweet. READ  

Sweden and the Bronx
Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx
The Bronx. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx

What do the Bronx and Sweden have in common? More than an affiliation with the Yankees, it turns out. And one small Swedish town is about to make that abundantly clear. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Politics
Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
National
Swede reports 'expensive' sex to police
Education
Sweden plans to scrap SFI for adult education
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

675
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se