The Bosnian State Court has sentenced three ex Bosniak soldiers to a total of 25 years in prison for war crimes against Bosnian Serbs in Bihac and Cazin.
Former members of the Fifth Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mehura Selimovic and Adil Ruznic were sentenced to eight years of prison each, and Emir Mustafic to nine years.
They were found guilty of physical and mental abuse of Serb prisoners in Bihac and Cazin.
The first instance verdict specified that Selimovic and Ruznic personally beat and allowed other soldiers to beat prisoners of war during interrogations. According to the verdict, they exerted psychological pressure on prisoners to admit their participation in crimes.
“After careful examination of evidence, the Chamber concluded that defendants Selimovic, as the counterintelligence officer, and Ruznic, as a desk officer for counterintelligence affairs, were in charge of processing prisoners in prisoner facilities and interrogating them,” said Zeljka Marenic, the presiding judge of the Trial Chamber.
Selimovic, said Judge Marenic, is responsible for crimes committed in 1994 and 1995 in the Hotel Park, the Adil Besic army barracks and the Luka prison in Bihac, as well as the Rad auto-repair shop in Cazin, while Ruznic was responsible for crimes in the Adil Besic army barracks committed in 1995 and 1996.
Selimovic was found guilty on five counts of the indictment for crimes against POWs and sentenced to six years of prison, while on one count he was sentenced to five years for crimes against civilians. However, the Trial Chamber passed the merged verdict of eight years of prison.
Adil Ruznic was found guilty on two counts for crimes against prisoners of war and sentenced to eight years of prison.
Emir Mustafic, as a military policemen, who, according to the verdict, personally took part in the abuse of prisoners in the Adil Besic barracks, was sentenced to seven years of prison for crimes against POWs and five years for crimes against civilians. He was given a merged sentence of nine years imprisonment.
Selimovic and Ruznic were acquitted of charges of ‘aiding and abetting’ the system of imprisoning Serb civilians and POWs in inhuman conditions in the Adil Besic barracks, the Rad shop in Cazin and plastic factory in Bosanski Petrovac.
The accused, who defended themselves at liberty, have been issued with a ban to leave their place of residence and their passports have been confiscated.
There is a possibility of appeal to this verdict.