SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnia’s state prosecutor and U.S. officials on Wednesday discussed the issue of Bosnian migrants facing deportation from the United States over their alleged involvement in war crimes during the Balkan country’s 1992-95 war.
The New York Times in February reported that U.S. officials had identified about 300 Bosnians who they believe concealed their role in the Balkan atrocities, including the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, and are trying to deport at least 150 of them.
The report said the number of suspects could eventually reach more than 600 as more records from Bosnia become available. Many of them were former soldiers, and some are now U.S. citizens.
“The meeting with U.S. justice ministry officials focused on cooperation and exchange of information between the Bosnian prosecution and U.S. authorities related to war crimes suspects currently residing in the U.S.,” the office of the chief prosecutor said in a statement.
It said Bosnia’s war crimes prosecutors and court had so far indicted and prosecuted seven people deported from the United States.
The immigrants were among refugees fleeing the violence in Bosnia after a war which claimed around 100,000 lives.
The Bosnian war ended in a 1995 U.S.-brokered peace deal. The U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague ruled the massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two, constituted genocide.
Serbia arrested eight men on Wednesday suspected of taking part in the massacre, the first such detentions in the ex-Yugoslav republic.
Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Alison Williams