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Bosnian Serb Soldier Convicted of Rape and Murder

2. November 2015.00:00
Former Bosnian Serb Army serviceman Petar Kovacevic was sentenced to nine years in prison for crimes against humanity in the eastern municipality of Visegrad in 1992.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The state court in Sarajevo on Monday found Kovacevic guilty of raping a Bosniak woman and killing a Bosniak civilian in the village of Dobrun near Visegrad in August 1992.

Kovacevic was found guilty of killing a man called Mujo Gacko in August 1992 in Dobrun by shooting him with an automatic rifle in front of his home.

“The same day, Kovacevic ordered protected witness S1 to take off her clothes and bend over a bench, where he raped her,” the verdict said.

Presiding judge Davorin Jukic said that the trial chamber took into account the fact that Kovacevic is 71 years old and ill as mitigating circumstances, so sentenced the former fighter to nine years in prison, which is below the ten-year legal minimum.

“The chamber finds that a sentence of nine years in prison fits the gravity of the crime and the participation of the defendant, and that it will serve the purpose of the punishment,” said Jukic.

He added that the gravity of the crime and the physical and psychological effects on the victims were taken into account as aggravating circumstances.

However Kovacevic was acquitted of burning three women alive in two houses in the illage of Zlatnik near Visegrad and taking part in the killings of two other civilians.

Jukic explained that no witness confirmed that Kovacevic took part in burning the houses in Zlatnik village.

He added that Kovacevic was also found not guilty of killing civilians Ahmet Mutapcic and Ibrahim Kustura, because the testimony of the only eyewitness, Islam Kustura, was not confirmed by other testimonies or evidence.

“The statements of Islam Kustura are not so clear as to confirm that Kovacevic was guilty of assisting in the murder of Ahmet Mutapcic and Ibrahim Kustura,” said Jukic.

The verdict can be appealed.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian