News 11 Oct 17

Bosnian Serb Soldier Jailed for Wartime Rape in Foca

Former Bosnian Serb Army soldier Zarko Vukovic was sentenced to seven years in prison for raping a woman several times in Foca in 1992.

Lamija Grebo
The Bosnian state court in Sarajevo. Photo: BIRN.

The state court in Sarajevo on Wednesday found ex-serviceman Zarko Vukovic guilty of raping a woman in Foca in eastern Bosnia.

The judge said that Vukovic forced the victim into the basement of her house and raped her several times from April to August 1992.

“The chamber found that as a member of Bosnian Serb forces, Vukovic was acting within a widespread and systematic attack by military, paramilitary and police structures aimed at Bosniak civilians, and that he knew that his actions represent part of this attack,” said presiding judge Mediha Pasic.

Pasic said that the victim, identified as witness A1, died before the charges were raised in the case, but her statement from the investigation proved the allegations in the indictment.

“The conviction of the chamber regarding the guilt of the defendant is based, primarily, on the testimony of witness A1, which is detailed, convincing and backed up by the testimonies of other witnesses,” she added.

In determining the sentence, the court took into account that Vukovic had no previous convictions but committed his crime ruthlessly.

“The punishment fits the gravity of the crime,” said Pasic.

Vukovic did not attend the sentencing.

He was freed from paying the costs of the trial because of his poor financial situation, and A1’s relatives were told that they can file a civil suit for non-material damages.

The verdict can be appealed.

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