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16 February 2015
News

Bosnia Upholds Convictions for Prijedor Mosque Killings

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Three former Bosnian Serb soldiers will serve a total of 63 years in jail over the executions of Bosniak civilians outside a mosque in the village of Carakovo near Prijedor in 1992.
The appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court on Monday confirmed the convictions of Velemir Djuric and Zoran Babic for taking the Bosniak victims from their homes in Carakovo and then shooting them dead outside the village mosque, and of Dragomir Soldat for ordering the killings in Carakovo on July 23, 1992.

Each of the three defendants was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Soldat was a military policeman with the 43rd Motorised Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, Djuric a member of the army’s Intelligence Centre, and Babic a reservist policeman in Prijedor.

When the first instance verdict was handed down in March last year, the presiding judge Mira Smajlovic said the court took into account the horrific nature of the crime as aggravating circumstances.

“The nature of the crime is that all nine people who were killed were related, and the loss is multiplied. An uncle, father and son from one family were killed. Some bodies decomposed because they remained in the sun for a long while, and that caused suffering to the mothers, wives and sisters who buried them,” said the judge.

Babic, who had already been jailed for 22 years for his role in the execution of 150 Bosniaks at Koricanske Stijene in August 1992, was given a combined sentence for both crimes of 35 years in prison.
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