Europe

Landmark Srebrenica trial starts in Serbia

  • A police officer guards the entrance to the special court building during a trial of eight men accused of taking part in the massacre on the outskirts of Srebrenica, in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Eight former Bosnian Serb special police troops went on trial Monday in Serbia charged with taking part in the massacre of thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    A police officer guards the entrance to the special court building during a trial of eight men accused of taking part in the massacre on the outskirts of Srebrenica, in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Eight former Bosnian Serb special police troops went on trial Monday in Serbia charged with taking part in the massacre of thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • A police officer guards the entrance to the special court building during a trial of eight men accused of taking part in a massacre on the outskirts of Srebrenica, in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Eight former Bosnian Serb special police troops went on trial Monday in Serbia charged with taking part in the massacre of thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    A police officer guards the entrance to the special court building during a trial of eight men accused of taking part in a massacre on the outskirts of Srebrenica, in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Eight former Bosnian Serb special police troops went on trial Monday in Serbia charged with taking part in the massacre of thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

The landmark trial of eight former Bosnian Serb police officers charged with taking part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre has started in a Serbian court with judges rejecting another postponement.

The long-awaited trial that opened Monday at the War Crimes court is seen as a test of Serbia's pledge to deal with its wartime past and an important step in Balkan reconciliation efforts more than two decades after the Bosnian war ended.

Around 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb troops in Srebrenica — Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

Serbia has promised to punish war criminals to advance toward EU membership. Its nationalist government has faced criticism for stalling on that pledge.

The trial was to start in December, but was postponed over legal wrangling.