News 17 May 13

Bosnian Woman Jailed for Torturing War Prisoners

Monika Karan-Ilic, one of the few women tried in Bosnia for war crimes, has been convicted of torturing and abusing detention-camp prisoners in Brcko and jailed for four years.

Justice Report

The court in Brcko on Friday found Karan-Ilic guilty of torturing, inhumanly treating and mentally abusing non-Serb prisoners between May and mid-June 1992 in the Luka prison camp and the police station in the northern Bosnian town.

Karan-Ilic was convicted on six counts and acquitted on two.

The trial chamber concluded that, despite statements from several witnesses, it had not been fully proven that she had poured acid on one prisoner's body and eyes at the Luka camp, nor that she cut four prisoners with a broken bottle.

Explaining the length of the sentence, the trial chamber emphasised that it took into consideration the defendant’s age, who at the time the crimes were committed was just 17.

During the closing arguments at the court on Wednesday, Karan-Ilic said that she was not a criminal but a victim of the “tyranny” of her boyfriend Goran Jelisic, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison for war crimes in Brcko at the Hague Tribunal in 2001.

“I am Jelisic’s war trophy, a sexual object with a damaged mind, a victim, a Croat mother’s child who was forced to come to the Luka camp with him two or three times,” she said.

The verdict can be appealed.

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