News 27 Jun 14

Croatia Increases Police Chief’s War Crimes Sentence

Former police commander Vladimir Milankovic, convicted of offences that led to the deaths of 24 Serb civilians in Sisak during wartime, had his sentence increased from eight to ten years.

Josip Ivanovic
Milankovic (left) and co-defendant Bosnjak at their original trial last year in Osijek.

The Croatian supreme court on Friday upheld Milankovic’s conviction for ordering illegal arrests and not punishing the illegal detentions and abuses of Serb civilians, which resulted in the deaths of 24 people between mid-July 1991 and mid-June 1992.

“In is indisputable that accused Milankovic had merit in the Homeland [1991-95 war and that he was decorated nine times... but it cannot justify the crimes that were committed,” the verdict said.

It said that the sentence was “adequate” and “can influence the accused and others not to commit crimes again”.

However the supreme court acquitted Milanovic’s co-defendant, Drago Bosnjak, a former member of a Croatian special forces unit called the ‘Wolves’, due to the lack of evidence.

Milankovic was originally convicted and sentenced to eight years in jail at Osijek county court in December 2013, but both prosecution and defence appealed to the supreme court over the verdict.

The trial drew widespread public attention in Croatia because of the killing of 19-year-old Ljubica Solar by the group led by Milankovic.

She was allegedly killed by accident because her father was believed to be an informant for the Yugoslav Counterintelligence Service and therefore a possible target for an attack by Croatian police, although this theory has never been officially confirmed.

Her mother Vjera Solar expressed disappointment with the verdict at Osijek county court in December last year.

“Even if my daughter was the only murdered victim, is eight years of imprisonment enough for the murder of an innocent 19-year-old child?” asked Solar.

In 2007, Solar was denied compensation for the mental anguish caused by the killing of her daughter. She was also ordered to pay around 10,000 euro in court costs, but is currently appealing against the penalty at the constitutional court.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

News 15 Jan 18

Serbian Court Sentences Eight for Ovcara Massacre

News 12 Jan 18

Serbian Judge and Defendant Clash at Lovas Trial

News 11 Jan 18

Bosnia Confirms Indictment for Crimes Near Donji Vakuf

Interview 10 Jan 18

Bosnia’s Judicial Overseer Vows to Speed Up Prosecutions

News 28 Dec 17

14 Bosniaks Charged with Crimes Against Humanity

2017 in Review 28 Dec 17

Bosnia: Landmark Verdicts Highlight Post-War Divisions

News 27 Dec 17

Female Bosnian Croat Fighter Jailed for War Crimes

2017 in Review 27 Dec 17

Kosovo: War Court Challenged, Ex-Guerrillas Acquitted

2017 in Review 26 Dec 17

Croatia: WWII Controversies and a General’s Suicide