A former prison guard was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for war crimes against Yugoslav Army detainees in the Bosnian city of Tuzla in 1992.
The supreme court of the country’s Bosniak-Croat Federation entity on Monday convicted Ivan Koler of inhumanely treating wounded Yugoslav Army troops at the District Military Prison in the north-eastern city.
The court ruled that Koler, then aged 20, physically and psychologically tortured seven detained servicemen between early June and July 15, 1992, after they had been injured in nearby clashes with Bosnian forces at Brcanska Malta in May.
Koler beat the prisoners using his fists, a baton and a toilet plunger on several occasions, hit them in their wounds, made them lick cleaning liquids and threatened them with execution.
The cantonal court in Tuzla had acquitted him of the crimes in September 2011 but the supreme court quashed the verdict and ordered a retrial which ended in his conviction.
Because of a lack of reliable evidence however, Koler was acquitted on three counts of inhuman treatment.
“Taking into account the severity of the act and the character of the accused, as well as the fact that at the time the crimes were committed, he was 20, the chamber reduced the sentence and considers it adequate,” explained Zorica Gogala, the presiding judge.
Koler has the option of appealing.