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Bosnia court sentences former soldiers for Srebrenica massacre

The Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) war crimes court [official website] on Friday sentenced [text, PDF] four former Bosnian Serb soldiers [case materials, in Croatian] for their involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja were found guilty of crimes against humanity, and the court sentenced Kos and Goronja to 40 years each, Kojic to 43 years and Golijan, because he was under 21 at that time, to 19 years in prison. The court held that they were responsible of killing around 800 captured Bosnian Muslims including children during the massacre that took a total of 8,000 lives. They summarily executed civilians at the Branjevo farm by shooting them in the back. With the verdict, the court acquitted the defendants of genocide charges due to the lack of intent to commit genocide.

The criminal court has continuously sentenced parties responsible for the 1995 massacre and even those who left the country are being brought back to face charges. In May, US resident Dejan Radojkovic was deported [JURIST report] to BiH to stand trial before the country's court for his actions as a police commander in Srebrenica during the 1995 massacre. He was arrested in 2009 after it was revealed that he did not disclose his involvement in the conflict and his appeal was rejected in February. He was the second to be deported after his commanding officer, Nedjo Ikonic, was deported in 2010 [JURIST report]. A day earlier, the war crimes court convicted [JURIST report] Dusko Jevic and Mendeljev Djuric for taking part in the killing of 1,000 Muslim men during the massacre after it found that the two former Bosnian Serb police officers were guilty of aiding and abetting genocide. They had been indicted on genocide charges in January 2010 after being arrested [JURIST reports] in October 2009. In January the court also upheld the conviction [JURIST reports] and 31-year sentence of Radomir Vukovic for his part in the 1995 massacre.

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