Bosnian Serb Ex-Policemen Jailed for Abuse and Torture

8. July 2016.15:29
Former Bosnian Serb policemen Goran Vujovic, Miroslav Duka and Zeljko Ilic were sentenced to a total of 23 years in prison for crimes against humanity in Bileca in 1992. The Bosnian state court found Vujovic, Duka and Ilic guilty on Friday of taking part in the abuse and torture of Bosniak and Croat civilians at the police station in Bileca and in a student dormitory in the southern town.

According to the verdict, one of the prisoners died.

Vujovic, the former commander of the police’s public security station in the town, was sentenced to six years in prison. Duka, the commander of a local police station, was sentenced to 12 years and Ilic to five years.

Presiding judge Minka Kreho said that it was proven without doubt that all the defendants had discriminatory intent.

The court found that there was a widespread and systematic attack by Bosnian Serb army, police and paramilitary units on the civilian population of Bileca.

“The witnesses described examples of mass arrests,” said Kreho.

She said that around 150 prisoners were held in inhumane conditions in the police station and the student dormitory from June 1992  until the end of the year.

The prisoners were tortured with electric shocks and sustained injuries.

When determining the sentences, the court took into account the fact that the defendants had families and Vujovic behaved well during his trial.

As aggravating circumstances in Duka’s case, the court looked at the fact that there were many victims, who suffered consequences.

Also on Friday, the Bosnian state court reduced on appeal the verdict sentencing ex-Bosnian Serb fighter Gligor Begovic from 13 to ten years in prison for crimes committed at the Batkovic detention camp in Bijeljina in 1992.

The first-instance verdict in December 2015 convicted Begovic of taking part in the killings of three civilians, the sexual abuse of several people and the abuse of prisoners in Batkovic camp. He was cleared of seven counts in the indictment, including the killing of two more people.

The Bileca verdict can be appealed, but Begovic’s verdict is final.

Denis Džidić