Bosnia Convicts Serb Ex-Policemen of Torturing Civilians

The Bosnian state court on Thursday sentenced ex-policemen Milan Djokic and Branislav Trisic to three years in prison each and Zoran Tanasic, Zarko Milanovic and Mladen Krajisnik to two years each for committing a war crime against Bosniak civilians.

In the first-instance verdict, the court found the five defendants guilty of torturing the Bosniak civilians in the Janja area in the period from 1992 to 1994.

Djokic was found guilty on four sub-counts, in his capacity as commander of the police station in Janja, for failing to prevent others from abusing the civilians who had been detained for questioning about weapons.

Trisic was convicted of beating up three civilians with a metal stick and his fists, and Tanasic of beating up two civilians. The court found that Milanovic and Krajisnik each hit one civilian.

"The court found particular mitigating circumstances in favour of the defendants, thus handing down a sentence that is below the legal minimum," said presiding judge Zeljka Marenic.

Three other defendants, Savo Mrsic, Milivoje Cobic and Milan Markovic, were acquitted of all charges.

The trial began in June 2016, and initially included three more defendants. Two of them, Vlado Stjepanovic and Ljubisa Ikic, have died, while another, Zoran Bogdanovic, is incapable of standing trial due to illness.

Thursday's verdict can be appealed.

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