In its first ever verdict for crimes committed in the Dretelj camp near Capljina in 1993, the Bosnian State Court sentenced Drazen Mikulic to six years in prison for crimes against Bosniak civilians.
The Trial Chamber found Mikulic, former member of the military police of the Croatian Defence Council, guilty on two counts of the indictment for taking part in abuse of prisoners in the Dretelj camp in July and August 1993.
Mikulic is sentenced for taking part, together with other members of the Croatian Defence Council, in the beating of Enver Grebovic in late July 1993.
“Mikulic took a broken bottle and cut Grebovic on his chest. As he started bleeding Mikulic drank his blood saying: ‘I drank myself full of Balija [pejorative term for Bosniak] blood.’ After that he put Grebovic against a wall and opened fire above his head,” said Stanisa Gluhajic, the presiding judge.
The verdict also specifies that on one occasion Mikulic ordered prisoners who were on orderly duty in Dretelj to beat up three prisoners lined up along the wire fence.
Judge Gluhajic said that the court acquitted Mikulic of four counts of the indictment charging him with torturing Semir Blavac, Emir Djulic and the protected witness S3 in July and August 1993, as well as beating prisoners at lunch time in Dretelj and pouring water into prisoner rooms.
“The Trial Chamber has established beyond reasonable doubt that the beatings took place, but witnesses did not ascertain clearly and concretely that the defendant is responsible for these acts,” said Gluhajic.
The Trial Chamber accepted as an extenuating circumstance that Mikulic was only 21 at the time the crimes were committed, as well as that he is a family men with three underage children, and that he behaved decently during the trial. The court did not find any aggravating circumstances.
Mikulic’s trial began in November 2011 and he was at liberty for the duration of the trial. Following the verdict he will remain in custody until he starts serving his sentence.
There is a possibility of appeal to this verdict to the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.