Serbia Convicts Bosnian Serb Ex-Soldier of Wartime Rape

Belgrade Higher Court sentenced Dalibor Krstovic to nine years in prison on Thursday for raping a female Bosniak prisoner while she was being detained at an elementary school in the town of Kalinovik during the war in August 1992.

Judge Zorana Trajkovic said that victim was captured with her two children, aged seven and nine, and that she was a "civilian in a helpless position".

Krstovic also threatened that he would rape the children, Trajkovic said.

"The court took particular note of the words indicted said to her, which were enough to cause a high level of fear for her two children," the judge added.

The victim was urged to seek compensation for damages in a civil court, which is common practice in Serbia.

The verdict found that Krstovic went to the Miladin Radojevic elementary school in Kalinovik, where captured Bosniak civilians were being held, and raped the woman and allowed a soldier who was with him to rape her too.

Krstovic, who said he was a policeman but that in the summer of 1992 was incorporated into the Bosnian Serb Army, denied the charge at the start of trial in January 2020.

He said that he only went to the school in Kalinovik because his relatives were in captivity on Bosniak-controlled territory and he had heard that there was going to be an exchange of captured civilians for Serbs captured by Bosnian forces.

One of the detainees held at the school for several days in August 1992, Tahir Panjeta, told the court during the trial that prisoners were beaten and abused.

"There was harassment, killing, and the people they took away did not return," Panjeta told the court.

Krstovic was originally indicted in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017 and the case was then handed over to the...

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