A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Bosnia war crimes court sentences Muslim commander to 10 years

The appellate division of the War Crimes Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) [official website] on Friday sentenced [press release] Sefik Alic, a Muslim commander, to 10 years in prison, overturning his 2008 acquittal. The prosecutor appealed the original verdict on the grounds that the lower court "erroneously and incompletely established the state of facts" leading it to misapply the law. Alic was convicted of failing to prevent the deaths of four prisoners in his custody and participating in their inhumane treatment [SE Times report]. At trial, the prosecution provided testimony from witnesses [Reuters report] as well as video footage and audio recordings. Alic denied having the command authority for the prisoners.

The BiH war crimes court was established in 2005 to reduce the caseload of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. In December, the court convicted four former Bosnian Serb policemen [JURIST report] of killing at least 150 civilians during the 1992-1995 Bosnian civil war [JURIST news archive]. In November, suspected war criminal, Dragan Crnogorac, was arrested [JURIST report] on suspicion for having committed genocide in connection with the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [JURIST news archive] during the end of the Bosnian civil war. In August, Spanish officials extradited accused Montenegrin war criminal [JURIST report] Veselin Vlahovic, known as the "monster of Grbavica," to Sarajevo.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.