Bosnian Croat Fighter Jailed for Vares Attacks

7. November 2013.00:00
Former Croatian Defence Council serviceman Ermin Curtic was jailed for five and a half years for crimes against Bosniak civilians in the Vares area in October 1993.

This post is also available in: Bosnian (Bosnian)

Curtic was found guilty of participating in attacks on Bosniaks in Vares, inhuman treatment and robbing civilians while he was working as a guide for the Maturica special purposes detachment of the Croatian Defence Council which carried out the armed assaults.

The court established that on October 23, 1993, he and two other members of the Croatian Defence Council participated in the beating and robbing of one Bosniak who they then took to the town school in Vares, where he was abused.

Curtic was also found guilty of participating in the Croatian Defence Council’s attack on the village of Stupni Do in the Vares municipality on the same day, when 38 civilians were massacred.

During the attack, Curtic kicked a Bosniak woman in the face and told her to give him her gold.

“The defence tried to prove that the defendant was not there; however, believable testimonies from witnesses for the prosecution cancelled out statements from the witnesses for the defence,” explained Jasenko Ruzic, the presiding judge at the Sarajevo cantonal court.

The verdict can be appealed at the Bosnian Federation’s supreme court, and the time Curtic spent in custody – fourth months in 1996, and between October 15, 2009, and May 9, 2012 – will be subtracted from his sentence.

Curtic was originally convicted and jailed for five and a half years in October 2011, but the verdict was quashed and he was sent for a retrial.

Several people have already been sentenced by the Hague Tribunal and the Bosnian state court for taking part in the Stupni Do massacre in 1993, when Bosnian Croat forces took control of the village, raped the women, killed most of the people they captured and robbed the houses before setting them on fire.

Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian (Bosnian)