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Tougher Sentence Urged for Sarajevo Wartime Brutality

28. February 2014.00:00
The Bosnian prosecution asked for a longer jail term for Serb fighter Zoran Dragicevic, convicted of torturing, imprisoning, raping and stealing from people during the siege of Sarajevo.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The prosecution said on Friday that Dragicevic deserved tougher punishment than the 11 years in jail he was given for crimes against humanity in Sarajevo while the Bosnian capital was under siege.

Appealing against the sentence, prosecutor Behaija Krnjic argued that the court had not looked into the circumstances of the case properly.

But the defence said the sentence was “too strict” and said the verdict should be cancelled and the allegations of rape dismissed entirely.

In last year, Dragicevic, also known as Zoka or Krompir (‘Potato’), was convicted of torture, rape, theft and other crimes in the Grbavica district of Sarajevo from May 1992 until December 1994.

But defence lawyer Dusko Tomic said that there had been violations of criminal law and procedure during the trial, and that the facts had been incorrectly and incompletely established.

Tomic said that the evidence given by the alleged rape victim proved that Dragicevic did not commit the crime, and that other witnesses said that he did not harm them.

The lawyer said that Dragicevic was only being tried in the state court because of his association with Bosnian Serb paramilitary Veselin Vlahovic, alias ‘Batko’, who last 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.

“I am not making comments about the fact that Vlahovic went from house to house and looted. He is guilty of that. You cannot go from house to house with such a monster [as Vlahovic], I told him so,” Tomic said.

The court will decide later on the appeals.

Selma Učanbarlić

This post is also available in: Bosnian