Bosnian Army Soldier Jailed for Croat Civilians’ Murders

23. September 2016.15:54
Former Bosnian Army soldier Jasmin Coloman was sentenced to three years in prison for his involvement in the murder of detained Croat civilians in the Vitez area in 1993. The appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court on Friday convicted Coloman, a former member of the Commando Squad of the Bosnian Army’s Seventh Muslim Brigade, of participating in the murder of Croat civilians, who were detained in the village of Poculica in the Vitez area on April 24, 1993.

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Presiding judge Dragoje Vukoja said that it had been proved that three civilians were killed and nine wounded in a shooting outside the detention centre in Poculica.

“It is also undisputable that Jasmin Coloman, as well as another unidentified person, participated in those events in the way described in the indictment itself,” Vukoje said.

The court established that on April 24, 1993, Coloman, who was armed, went to the front of the Youth Centre in Poculica where the Croat civilians were detained.

When the guard refused to unlock the door, he opened fire from an automatic weapon through the closed door, killing or injuring the victims.

Vukoje explained that the appeals chamber trusted the accounts of witnesses including Refik Mujezinovic, who recognised the defendant in the courtroom.

“It is indisputable that witness Mujezinovic spent the most time with Coloman on the critical date, because he drove him to the Centre in Poculica, so he could see him well. We consider his testimony authoritative,” he said.

Under the first-instance verdict, Coloman was acquitted of the charges, but after a prosecution appeal, a retrial was ordered.

The court took into account as mitigating circumstances Coloman’s tough childhood, his good conduct during the court proceedings and the fact that he had just turned 18 when the crime was committed.

The verdict can be appealed.

Dragana Erjavec

This post is also available in: Bosnian