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news 12 Feb 13

Bosnia Minors Arrested For Slaying Priest

Three minors have been arrested in the Bihac area for the murder of a Catholic priest, Fr Mile Ivancic, who appears to have been killed for his money.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Three minors from the northwest Bosnian town of Bihac, aged 15 to 17, are under arrest on suspicion of having killed Fr Ivancic in the Zavalje area at the weekend, police said on February 12.

Marjan Simic, deputy police commissioner of the Una-Sana Canton, on Tuesday said the suspects had been arrested and taken to the cantonal prosecutor. All three are students of the technical high school in Bihac.

“They planned this crime the day before they comitted it and when they did it... they threw the weapons away,” Simic said, adding that they tried to return to the crime scene but locals prevented them.

The motive of the murder was apparently gaining material benefit and money. But, owing to their own panic, they did not even take any money in the end. The police found the priest's money in his pocket.

Cantonal prosecutor Husein Huzejrovic said that extreme violence had been shown in the case, and police had found a knife with a 33-centimetre blade.

He added that ethnicity did not appear to be a factor in the crime. While two of the suspects are Bosniaks [Muslim], one is an ethnic Croatian Catholic.

Bishop Mile Bogovic from Croatia was also present at the Bihac press conference since the late priest's Zavalje parish falls under the jurisdiction of his diocese of Gospic.

He said that Ivancic was a peaceful man, and he agreed that the motive for the crime did not appear to be national, religious or ideological.

Ivancic was found dead in his house on Saturday.

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