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The court in Sarajevo on Friday found Dragicevic guilty of a series of crimes, targeting non-Serb civilians in a series of attacks and robberies in the Grbavica, Kovacici and Vraca neighbourhoods of the Bosnian capital from May 1992 to December 1994.
Dragicevic, also known as Zoka or Krompir (‘Potato’), committed his crimes as part of a previously-agreed plan which envisaged the persecution of non-Serbs, said the chairman of the trial chamber, Zoran Bozic.
“It was proved that, acting on his own or in collaboration with others, Dragicevic entered apartments and committed actions described in the indictment on a discriminatory basis. Being an armed soldier, he was aware of the fact that Grbavica residents were non-Serb civilians,” Bozic said.
“The events which the injured parties experienced during the mistreatment, physical and mental abuse and rape, have caused consequences for them,” the judge said.
Dragicevic carried out some of his attacks with Bosnian Serb paramilitary Veselin Vlahovic, alias ‘Batko’, who earlier this year was given Bosnia’s longest-ever war crimes sentence – 45 years – for a campaign of murder, rape and robbery against Bosniaks and Croats in the same Sarajevo neighbourhoods.
Judge Bozic said that the court had trusted the witness testimonies about Dragicevic.
“In fact, one of the injured parties said that Dragicevic did not even touch him and that he was beaten by another person, while the indictee participated in the robbery. [Protected witness] A-1 said that he was not rough while committing rape,” Bozic explained.
When deciding on Dragicevic’s sentence, the court took into account as mitigating circumstances the fact that he had a a family and that he behaved properly during the trial.
The brutality of his crimes and the physical and mental injuries suffered by the victims were considered aggravating circumstances.
The verdict can be appealed.