News 28 Mar 17

US Jails Bosnian Ex-Soldier for War Crimes Lies

A former Bosnian Army soldier was jailed for 18 months and had his US citizenship revoked for lying to immigration officials about his role in crimes committed during the war.

The US Justice Department in Washington. Photo: Wikimedia/Bjoertvedt.

Former Bosnian Army serviceman Slobo Maric, who became a naturalised US citizen in 2002, was stripped of his status on Monday and jailed for 18 months for not disclosing his role in wartime crimes, US media reported.

Maric, 56, who had been living in Jacksonville, Florida, pleaded guilty in July 2016 to unlawful procurement of naturalisation.

He admitted that he did not disclose during the naturalisation process that he was in the Bosnian Army and that he committed crimes during the 1992-95 war, the Florida Times-Union reported.

In 1993, Maric served as a shift leader and second-in-command at a detention facility where captured Bosnian Croat fighters were held, according to his plea agreement with the US Attorney.

“Many of the guards in the facility routinely subjected detainees to serious physical abuse and humiliation, including by referring to them with ethnic slurs and spitting on them,” a US Justice Department statement said in July last year when Maric’s plea was agreed.

“According to the plea agreement, Maric selected detainees for other guards to abuse; directly participated in abusing several prisoners; and sent prisoners on dangerous and deadly work details on the front line of the conflict,” it added.

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