Citizenship & War Crimes

Alleged Serbian war criminal Branko Rogan takes the stand at a citizenship hearing in Vancouver, which raises questions about the best way for Canada to deal with people accused of war crimes; Canada has the legislation to try them, but few are prosecuted because of funding shortfalls. We find out why it's his citizenship that's on trial and why he's not being tried for his alleged war crimes.


Citizenship & War Crimes - Jason Proctor

This morning in Vancouver... a man is expected to make his first appearance in Federal Court to answer allegations he committed war crimes in Bosnia in 1992. Immigration officials say that when Branko Rogan came to Canada as a refugee, he hid his past as a guard at a prison camp where Muslim prisoners were abused. The purpose of the court proceedings ... to revoke Mr. Rogan's citizenship.

This is Canada's first citizenship revocation case involving allegation of a modern war crime... in other words, an alleged war crime perpetrated after World War Two.

CBC reporter Jason Proctor has been covering the court case. He joined us in Vancouver.

Citizenship & War Crimes - Bruce Broomhall

As we just heard, it will take some time before the federal court rules on whether Branko Rogan's citizenship can be revoked. In the meantime, this case raises significant questions about how Canada can - and should - deal with those accused of war crimes. By some estimates there are 1,500 alleged war criminals living in Canada. And it is within Canada's jurisdiction to try people for war crimes committed in other countries. But each case is complicated, and potentially very expensive to deal with and funding for such trials is limited.

Bruce Broomhall is a law professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal, and he specializes in international justice issues. He's currently on sabbatical at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. Professor Broomhall in our Vancouver studio this morning.

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