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Bosnian Muslim woman pleads guilty to war crimes committed in Sarajevo

Rasema Handanovic, a woman accused of killing Bosnian Croat civilians during the 1992-1995 Bosnian Civil War [JURIST news archive], pleaded guilty Friday before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website]. This makes her the first woman [AFP report] convicted of war crimes by the local Bosnian court. Fellow combatants testified to having witnessed Handanovic personally shoot wounded victims in the head [Reuters report], some multiple times. Handanovic expressed regret for her crimes. Handanovic, who immigrated to the US and became a citizen in 2006, lived with her family in Oregon and was extradited [JURIST report] in December. She faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Courts continue to pursue cases related to the Bosnian civil war. The trial of eight Bosnian Muslims [JURIST report] for their alleged war crimes during the civil war began earlier this month. In February the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] sentenced Milan Tupajic to two months in prison [JURIST report] on two counts of contempt for refusing to testify against Radovan Karadzic. In January a Bosnian court upheld the original conviction and 31-year sentence of Radomir Vukovic, who was captured earlier that month [JURIST reports].

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