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Trial Opens in Belgrade in Srebrenica Massacre Case

Five former members of a Serbian paramilitary unit, the Scorpions, have gone on trial in Belgrade on charges they played a role in the massacre of up to eight thousand Muslims after the 1995 Serb capture of Srebrenica.

The first of the accused to testify, Scorpions commander Slobodan Medic, denied any knowledge of the crime. But he confirmed his unit was in the area and said could not control all his men's actions.

Serbian authorities arrested him and the four others, Aleksandar Medic, Branislav Medic, Pera Petrasevic and Aleksandar Vukov, after prosecutors at The Hague tribunal showed a videotape in June at the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. A sixth suspect is on trial in Csatia on similar charges.

The tape shows the defendants executing six men captured in Srebrenica, an enclave in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina which the United Nations had declared a Muslim safe area.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.