ICTY ends investigation in Central Croatia

ZAGREB, May 9, 2000 -- (AFP) UN war crimes tribunal experts said here Monday that they have found 10 bodies in their almost month-long exhumation work carried out in the area of the central Croatian town of Gospic which has concluded, Croatian radio reported.

An investigation to determine the cause of death is to resume Thursday, according to Steve Chambers, head of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) team in Croatia, who was cited by a radio report.

With the exhumation operations in Gospic concluded for the time being, Chambers told Croatian television that the ICTY was moving personnel and equipment from that area to the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska where forensic operations will start soon.

An ICTY spokesman in The Hague told Croatian television that there might be further investigations in Gospic area.

The ICTY team arrived in Croatia at the beginning of April to investigate possible mass graves in several locations around Gospic, about 150 kilometers (95 miles) south of Zagreb.

According to witness accounts quoted by the independent press, more than 100 ethnic Serb civilians and several Croatians were killed in Gospic area at the begining of the 1991-1995 Serbo-Croatian war.

The reports have been backed by some former senior Croatian officials.

The new Croatian government adopted a declaration on cooperation with the ICTY in mid-April, a move following the pledge by its pro-European leaders to cooperate closely with The Hague tribunal.

Original article