Eight Bosniaks Jailed for 60 Years for Prison Camp Abuses

5. July 2018.11:24
After a six-year trial, the Bosnian court sentenced eight Bosniaks to a total of 60 years in prison for committing crimes against Serb and Croat civilians illegally held in wartime detention camps in Hadzici.

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The state court in Sarajevo on Thursday convicted Mustafa Djelilovic, Fadil Covic, Mirsad Sabic, Nezir Kazic, Becir Hujic, Halid Covic, Serif Mesanovic and Nermin Kalember of crimes committed from 1992 to 1996 against Serb and Croat civilians who were illegally detained at the Silos camp, the Krupa barracks and the 9th of May elementary school in the Hadzici municipality.

All eight men were found guilty of illegally detaining the civilians and holding them in poor conditions in the three camps.

The court found that some prisoners were beaten, humiliated, degraded and forced to do hard labour while detained, which violated their human rights.

“The chamber found that the detention of the prisoners was not logical from a security standpoint, since it was not clear that the civilians presented any sort of danger,” said presiding judge Minka Kreho.

Djelilovic, the president of the wartime presidency of the Hadzici municipality, was sentenced to ten years in prison, as was Kazic, who was the commander of the Bosnian Army’s 9th Brigade.

The former commander of the local police station in Hadzici, Fadil Covic, and the warden of the Silos camp, Becir Hujic, were sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sabic, who the court said was the de facto commander of the Pazaric police station in Hadzici, and the deputy warden at the Silos camp, Halid Covic, were both sentenced to six years.

Former Krupa barracks warden Serif Mesanovic and former guard Nermin Kalember were given five years.

But all eight men were acquitted of crimes against prisoners of war, after the court found that all the people detained in the three camps were civilians.

The trial lasted for six years due to the large number of witnesses testifying and the amount of evidence presented.

The verdict can be appealed.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian