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28 October 2014
News

Two Bosnian Serbs Convicted of Visegrad Massacre

Amer Jahic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Former Bosnian Serb reservist policemen Predrag Milisavljevic and Milos Pantelic were both sentenced to 20 years in prison for the executions of 48 Bosniak civilians from Visegrad in 1992.
The Bosnian state court on Tuesday found Milisavljevic and Pantelic guilty of taking part in the massacre of the 48 men from Visegrad in the Sokolac municipality on June 15, 1992.

The men who died were in a prisoner convoy which left Visegrad on June 14. They were then separated from the other prisoners and taken to the Paklenik pit, where Bosnian Serb police officers and soldiers shot them or beat them to death.

The bodies were then thrown into the pit, from which they were exhumed eight years later.

Only one man, Ferid Spahic, managed to survive and give evidence at the trial. He testified that Milisavljevic took part in the killings.

“The witness said that Milisavljevic was the first man to open fire,” said presiding judge Vesna Jesenkovic.

The convictions were also based on the testimony of bus drivers from the convoy, who said that Milisavljevic and Pantelic were part of the group that took the men to the Paklenik pit.

Even though nobody saw Pantelic shoot prisoners, the judge explained, he was found guilty of “assisting in the murder of civilians”.

A third defendant, Ljubomir Tasic, was cleared of the charges against him.

The judge said that the Bosnian prosecution didn’t provide adequate evidence that Tasic took part in taking the civilian prisoners out of Visegrad. Witnesses only said that Tasic told people to go because he could not protect them, Jesenkovic explained.

Milisavljevic and Pantelic were also cleared of the forced displacement of Bosniak civilians and the abuse of prisoners.

Milisavljevic was further cleared of charges of sexually abusing men at the police station in Visegrad in May 1992. The judge said that witnesses couldn’t clearly say who ordered the abuses.

The verdict can be appealed.
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