Bosnian Serb Officer Jailed for Prisoner Abuse

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, April 25, 2014
Posted in category Balkans, Bosnia Hertegovina
Comments Off

A court in Bijeljina sentenced former Bosnian Serb Army officer Velimir Popovic to five years in jail for violently abusing prisoners of war at the Ugljevik detention camp.

The district court in Bijeljina in Bosnia’s Serb-led entity Republika Srpska convicted Popovic on Friday, saying that several witnesses had identified him as having abused prisoners at the wartime Ugljevik detention camp.

“In the period from May to June 1992, in his capacity as a member of military police of the Republika Srpska Army, and acting in collaboration with other members of that unit… Popovic entered the [Ugljevik] premises, where detainees were held, hit them with his hands and a rubber stick, kicked them, and forced them to perform fellatio and urinate on each other,” said trial chamber chairman Mensur Djonlic.

However, two other ex-fighters, Ostoja Minic and Oliver Rodic, known as ‘Oliva’, were acquitted of the same charges.

The court said that judging by the evidence, Minic neither ordered nor committed the crimes with which he was charged, while witnesses’s statements failed to prove that Rodic was guilty.

“The charges against Oliver Rodic are based on statements given by two witnesses whose presence at the main trial could not be ensured, while other witnesses were not able to confirm that he participated in the mentioned event. Hence there are no grounds for pronouncing any sentence,” the court said.

The verdict can be appealed at the supreme court of Republika Srpska.

Also on Friday, the supreme court of Republika Srpska handed down a second instance verdict upholding the acquittal of former Bosnian Serb fighter Dejan Radojkovic, who had been accused of opening fire on Bosniak men trying to flee from Srebrenica in 1995.

The prosecution did not appeal against his acquittal.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.