The cantonal court of Mostar has sentenced Vlatko Jarak, a former member of the Croatian Defense Council, HVO, to one and a half years in prison for war crimes committed in Stolac.
Jarak, formerly of the “Knez Domagoj” First Brigade of the HVP, was found guilty of participating in the unlawful detention and forcible resettlement of the Bosniak population of Stolac in July and August 1993.
According to the verdict, on July 17, 1993, Jarak, who was accompanied by two other HVO members, arrested three people in the village of Osanici. They took them into a house, where the HVO command was located, knowing that they would be taken to Kostana hospital and Dretelj.
Women and children were transported from that town to Blagaj, while men were taken to detention camps, according to the verdict.
Additionally, Jarak was convicted of threatening to burn down the home of Munib and Muhiba Topic on several occasions. Muhiba Topic subsequently committed suicide.
In 2012, Jarak was sentenced to one year in prison, but the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina tossed out the verdict and ordered a retrial.
The first instance-verdict at the time acquitted Jarak of the threatening to burn down the home of the Topics.
The prosecution and defense have the right to appeal the verdict with the Supreme Court.