ATLANTA (AP) - Two Bosnian Serbs who covered up their service in a military brigade that massacred thousands of Muslims gave up their fight to stay in the U.S. today and agreed to be deported to the Balkans.
Veselin Vidacak and Ugljesa Pantic were convicted of lying about serving in the Republic of Srpska's Zvornik Brigade when applying for refugee status. The brigade was responsible for the massacre of thousands of Muslims in the village of Srebrenica in July 1995.
The two have been ferried between federal detention centers for the better part of a year. In federal immigration court today in Atlanta they decided to leave the country rather than continue the legal fight.
The 32-year-old Vidacak and 56-year-old Pantic were convicted in May of concealing their involvement in the brigade after they were arrested as part of a national sweep that netted dozens of Serb immigrants. The two had lived in High Point, North Carolina, before their arrests.
A third North Carolina man accused of concealing his involvement in the brigade, Milivoje Jankovic, was exonerated of the charges but still faces a deportation hearing.