Bosnia: Boskic Sentenced to 10 Years for Srebrenica

Marko Boskic, a former member of the 10th Reconnaissance Squad of the Republika Srpska Army, VRS, was sentenced to ten years in prison by a first instance verdict for participating in the murder of several hundred men from Srebrenica in July 1995.

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found Boskic guilty of crimes against humanity committed against Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims).

“The pronounced sentence is within the span set out in the agreement. At the same time it is the shortest sentence prescribed by the law for this type of crime. I consider the sentence will absolutely serve the purpose of punishment,” said judge Ljubomir Kitic.

Boskic was charged with having participated, together with seven other members of the same squad, in the “summary execution” of several hundred captured Bosniaks at the Branjevo military farm in Pilica village on July 16, 1995.

He pleaded guilty on July 5 this year. The court confirmed the plea agreement with judge Kitic explaining the mitigating circumstances which influenced the verdict.

“The court has taken into consideration … the fact that Boskic was forced to participate in the murders and he advisedly admitted guilt,” said Kitic.

Boskic was arrested at the Sarajevo Airport in April 2010 after being deported from the United States where he had been sentenced to five years and three months in prison for violation of immigration procedures and giving false data regarding his membership in the armed forces during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Prosecutors said that Boskic had offered “significant information” on the crimes committed at Branjevo farm and other perpetrators, contributing to the identification and processing of several people responsible for the executions and shooting of captured Srebrenica residents and the elimination of traces of evidence.

Boskic committed to testify at other trials conducted before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY.

The time he has spent in custody will be factored into his sentence.

Prosecutors have also charged Vlastimir Golijan, Zoran Goronja, Stanko Savanovic and Franc Kos, all former members of the 10th Reconnaissance Squad arrested at the beginning of 2010, with participation in the murder of Srebrenica residents at the military farm.

Momir Pelemis, former Deputy Commander and Chief of Headquarters with the First Battalion of the Zvornik VRS Brigade, and Slavko Peric, Assistant Commander for Security with the same brigade, are on trial before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina for participation in the murder of Srebrenica residents in the Pilica Cultural Center and at the Branjevo military farm in July 1995.

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