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13 January 2014

Bosniak Fighters Jailed for Massacre of Serbs

Mirna Buljugic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Four ex-members of the Kotor Varos territorial defence force were jailed for a total of 43 years for involvement in the killing of 16 Serb civilians in the village of Serdari in 1992.
The court in Sarajevo on Monday sentenced ex-fighters Fikret Planincic and Sead Menzil to 11 and a half years in prison, Mirsad Vatrac to ten and a half years, and Rasim Lisancic was to nine and a half years.

“On September 17, 1992, all four former members of the Territorial Defence of Kotor Varos were in a group of 20 fighters operating in the village Serdari, using firearms and explosives, and took part in the killing of 16 Serbian civilians,” said presiding judge Ljubomir Kitic.

The killing of two children during the attack and the wounding of a pregnant woman were taken into account as aggravating factors, Kitic said.

The village was not a legitimate military objective as the defence had claimed, the court ruled.

One of the key witnesses was villager Gina Serdar, who witnessed the attack and “identified Planincic, Menzil and Vatrac”, Kitic said.

The verdict also stated that Lisancic treated Serdar inhumanely by putting a knife to her throat and demanding that she tell him who killed his sister.

The fact that all the defendants are family men with children and have no previous criminal records was taken into account as mitigating circumstances, the judge said.

The conviction can be appealed.

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