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13 November 2013

Bosnian Croat Jailed for Dretelj Camp Murders

Sanela Gakovic BIRN BiH Mostar
Former Bosnian Croat military policeman Frano Vulic was sentenced to ten years in prison for war crimes against civilian prisoners in the Dretelj detention camp near Capljina in 1993.
The cantonal court in the town of Mostar on Wednesday found Vulic, a wartime military policeman with the Croatian Defence Council, guilty of killing three Bosniak prisoners at the Dretelj camp in southern Bosnia on July 14, 1993.

“While standing guard near a hangar in the Dretelj camp, where Bosniak men were detainees, and knowing that prisoners were lying or sitting on the hangar floor, Vulic shot through the window and killed Omer, Izet and Hasan Duvnjak,” said presiding judge Slavko Pavlovic.

Explaining the verdict, the judge said that the evidence confirmed that the three Duvnjaks were killed from shots fired from outside the hanger.

“The witnesses are mostly in agreement that they heard a shot. It is clear that one shot could not have hit all three men, so we can conclude that each witness saw something else… Some saw a rifle, some heard a shot, some saw smoke and windows breaking, but it is clear that men were killed,” said the judge.

He said that the testimony of one witness, Kresimir Bogdanovic, was crucial in determining Vulic’s guilt.

“Bogdanovic was the commander of the military police second unit within the Fifth Corps of the Bosnian Croat army. He saw Vulic with a rifle after the shooting. He described Vulic as distressed and he saw the rifle was hot. He also claimed that Vulic admitted shooting the prisoners,” said Pavlovic.

The verdict can be appealed at the supreme court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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