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Local Justice – Popovic: Guilty Verdict for War Crimes in Gradiska

5. July 2012.00:00
The District Court in Banja Luka has sentenced a former Bosnian Serb policeman to eight years of prison for the murder of three Bosniak civilians in August 1992.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

According to the verdict, Mirko Popovic, accompanied by three men wearing camouflage uniforms and balaclavas, entered the house of the Husedzinovic family in the village of Gradiska, on August 10, 1992.

There the men encountered Aldo Husedzinovic, Ferid Cehajic and Resid Ajanovic who they beat up and took them in a van to the river Sava where they killed them. Their bodies were discovered six days later.

The presiding judge, Vesna Stankovic-Cosovic, said that the prosecution has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the crime was committed the way it was described in the indictment.

“Based on witness testimonies, it has been established that at the time it was a difficult situation in Gradiska due to the war circumstances. After the Croatian Army crossed the river Sava on August 8, 1992, 16 soldiers were killed and many wounded, which is why on the day of the funeral, on August 10, the situation was electrified in the town,” added Stankovic-Cosovic.

She said that some of the witnesses at the trial confirmed that Popovic committed the crime with two of his sons and another person.

The presiding judge said that the extenuating circumstances were that the defendant is an elderly family man, with no prior record of convictions, as well as that the crime was committed 20 years ago and during a war.

“The aggravating circumstances are that he killed in cold blood three young family men who were parents of two underage children and thus denied them a love of one parent,” said Stankovic-Cosovic.

There is a possibility to appeal this verdict.

This post is also available in: Bosnian