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The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina sentenced Minet Akeljic and Saban Haskic to seven years each, Senad Bilal to eight and Hazim Petkovic to five years in prison for the physical, mental and sexual abuse of Croat civilians in 1993 in a detention facility known as ‘Crna Kuca’, or the Black House.
A fifth defendant, Semsudin Djelilovic, was acquitted on all charges.
“This was not an isolated case of abuse, but a systematic one, as is confirmed by the number of criminal acts,” said the chairman of the trial chamber, Davorin Jukic.
Akeljic, as commander of the Military Police of the First Battalion, 325th Mountain Brigade, was found guilty of sending a group of detainees to the frontline, two of them wearing explosive belts.
The Court also determined that Akeljic was present when two detainees were forced to hit each other.
Haskic, Bilal and Petkovic, as military policemen, were convicted of kicking and hitting civilians with batons and rifle butts and forcing detainees to fight each other.
The Chamber also found Haskic and Bilal guilty of sexual abuse of two civilians; according to the indictment, the defendants forced the civilians to undress and perform sex acts on each other.
The Chamber determined that the injured parties were civilians, some of whom were detained while cutting grass, others having surrendered weapons that they kept at home but were not using as participants in the war.