Conviction for war crimes in Croatia

The War Crimes Council of the Belgrade High Court convicted on Monday Pano Bulat to 15 and Rade Vranešević to 12 years in prison.

The two defendants were found guilty of the murder of six Croat civilians in Banski Kovačevac, Croatia, in March 1992.

In the explanation of the verdict, it is pointed out that the civilians, who were not part of any military or police formation, were killed with an automatic rifle and a pistol, and that their bodies were burned several days later.

It is specified that Bulat used the pistol and Vranešević the automatic rifle.

Deputy War Crimes Prosecutor Bruno Vekarić told reporters that justice has been served with this verdict.

Vekarić added that the verdict proves that Serbia has faced the crimes in its recent past from which the country wants to distance itself.

He noted that the verdict also underlines the importance of the cooperation between the Serbian and the Croatian state prosecutions, and reminded that this is one of the 28 cases on which the two prosecutions are working together.

After the end of the war conflicts, the Karlovac County Court launched an investigation against Bulat and Vranešević for war crimes against civilians.

Since both men are residents of Serbia, the Serbian War Crimes Prosecution took over the case in accordance with the agreement on cooperation with the Croatian State Prosecution and the law on legal assistance in civil and criminal matters between the two countries.

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