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Bosnia police chief sentenced to 14 years for war crimes

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] on Wednesday sentenced [press release] Goran Saric, a former police chief, to 14 years for crimes against humanity. His charges [case backgrounder] specifically involved detention, forced transfer and murder of civilian Bosniak population of Sarajevo's Centar municipality between June and July 1992 during the Bosnian Civil War [JURIST news archive] in violation of Article 172(1)(h) of BiH's Criminal Code. The court held that Saric was responsible for the "expulsion of the entire Bosniak population on ethnic and religious grounds." Saric's indictment was confirmed in January 2012, three months after he was taken into custody.

International and national efforts to convict war criminals have been ongoing. In July the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] unanimously reversed [JURIST report] the acquittal of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case summary, PDF; JURIST news archive] for a genocide charge in BiH during the Bosnian War. The decision reversed Karadzic's acquittal [JURIST report] last year on one of the charges he faces. In June a New York resident Sulejman Mujagic was extradited [JURIST report] to his native country of BiH for war crimes. He was fighting for the Army of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia when he and his men allegedly killed an enemy combatant with an AK-47, as well as kicked and beat enemy combatants with rifle stocks. In May the ICTY acquitted two former Serbian secret police officials of charges of war crimes and also convicted [JURIST reports] six Bosnian Croat political and military leaders for persecuting, expelling and murdering Muslims during the Bosnian War.

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