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4 July 2013
News

Bosnia’s Dretelj Prison Camp Verdict Challenged

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Prosecution and defence appealed against the six-year sentence handed down to Bosnian Croat soldier Drazen Mikulic for abusing a prisoner and drinking his blood at the Dretelj camp in 1993.
The prosecution said that it was appealing against the verdict because he was acquitted of some of the charges against him at the original trial, and only convicted of assaulting one Bosniak prisoner at the notorious wartime Dretelj detention camp near Capljina.

Mikulic was found guilty in September last yearof having participated, along with other Bosnian Croat soldiers, in the beating of the prisoner in July 1993. The court established that he cut the prisoner on his chest with a bottle and began to drink his blood, and then said: “I drank myself full of Balija [pejorative term for Bosniak] blood.”

The verdict also said that Mikulic ordered some detainees to beat up three others.

But he was acquitted of abusing and beating several other prisoners.

Explaining the appeal, the state prosecutor said that many witness statements confirmed that the crimes took place and at least two of the witnesses recognised Mikulic.

The defence however said that it was appealing aginst the sentence because although crimes were committed at the detention camp, Mikulic did not take part in them.

It said that the allegations contained in the indictment were actually taken from a website run by the Patriotic League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that some of the witnesses read the site before testifying.
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