News 07 Mar 17

Bosnian Soldier Jailed for Murder, Torture, Mutilation

Former Bosnian Army serviceman Emir Drakovac was sentenced to 14 years in prison for participating in the murder and mutilation of a civilian and the torture of a Serb soldier in 1992.

Dzana Brkanic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Emir Drakovac and his co-defendants in court.

The state court in Sarajevo on Tuesday sentenced Emir Drakovac to a total of 14 years in prison for committing crimes including murder and torture in the village of Vratsalici in the Rogatica municipality and Zebina Suma in the Foca municipality in 1992.

Drakovac, a member of the Commando Squad of the Bosnian Army’s Kukavice Company, was convicted of having participated in the murder and subsequent mutilation of the body of a civilian in Vratsalici in November 1992, in collaboration with another person.

After having shot at the civilian, Drakovac approached him with an axe and cut his head off, according to the verdict.

He then took the man’s trousers off, cut off his genitals and put them into the dead victim’s mouth.

The court also found that Drakovac, accompanied by another man, tortured a captured member of the Bosnian Serb Army in the village of Zebina Suma in December 1992, by pulling his trousers down and cutting skin from the tip of his penis with a knife.

“There is no doubt that he acted with premeditation and that he was aware of consequences of his actions,” said presiding judge Davorin Jukic.

Drakovac was sentenced to eight years for committing crimes against civilians and seven years for torturing the man in Zebina Suma, although the court decided to impose a cumulative sentence of 14 years.

Meanwhile Drakovac and three other defendants, Muhamed Sisic, Tarik Sisic and Aziz Susa, were acquitted of charges that they participated in an attack on a convoy of fleeing civilians in Kukavice in the Rogatica in August 1992, when 21 civilians were killed and 39 wounded.

“The chamber has determined that the defendants were present at the crime scene and participated in the attack on the convoy in Kukavice, but a suspicion remains regarding the target they attacked. Specifically, this refers to a suspicion about whether the defendants knew those were civilians,” Jukic said.

According to the verdict, the convoy of civilians was neither marked nor announced in advance and the defendants falsely believed those were members of the opposing army.

Muhamed Sisic, Tarik Sisic and Aziz Susa were also members of the Commando Squad of the Kukavice Company.

Both the prosecution and the defence have the right to appeal against the verdict.

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