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15 December 2015

Bosnian Croat Fighter Jailed for Wartime Rape

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Former Croatian Defence Council fighter Marijan Brnjic was found guilty of raping a Serb woman in the Odzak area in 1992 and sentenced to six years in prison.

The state court on Tuesday found Brnjic guilty of raping the woman in the village of Posavska Mahala near Odzak in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina on July 3, 1992, convicting him of crimes against civilians.

Presiding judge Jasmina Kosovic said Brnjic, a former member of the 102nd Brigade of the Croatian Defence Council, had failed to prove he was not there when the woman was raped.

“The chamber did not accept Brnjic’s alibi because the defence did not prove that he was in Germany when the crime was committed,” said presiding judge Jasmina Kosovic.

Under the same verdict, three other Croatian Defence Council ex-fighters, Martin Barukcic and brothers Pavo and Ilija Glavas, were acquitted of crimes against Serb civilians in Odzak due to a lack of evidence.

All four defendants were also acquitted of raping another two women.

The time that Brnjic spent in custody, from April 2014 onwards, will be counted towards his sentence. He has also been ordered to pay the court’s costs.

The verdict can be appealed.
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