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16 March 2016

Bosnian Soldiers Jailed for Wartime Rape in Bihac

Marija Tausan BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Former Bosnian Army soldiers Adil Vojic and Bekir Mesic were sentenced to seven years in prison each for raping a woman in Bihac in the country’s north-west in May 1994.
The Bosnian state court on Wednesday convicted Vojic and Mesic, both former members of the 501st Brigade of the Bosnian Army’s Fifth Corps, of committing war crimes against the civilian population in the Bihac region.

According to the verdict, the defendants, who were accompanied by others, took the woman from her house to a meadow. Mesic, Vojic and another person knocked her down and tore her jeans and underwear off, and then they too turns raping her.

The verdict said that Mesic then forced a neighbour called Boro Boricic to sexually abuse the woman. They ran away when the police appeared.

“The chamber has based the verdict primarily on the testimony by the injured party [codenamed] D-1, who described the rape at the Ceraci meadow in an honest and convincing manner,” said presiding judge Zoran Bozic.

Bozic said that D-1 filed a rape report on May 2, 1994, the day after the assault, and identified Vojic and Mesic, among others.

“She knew the defendants. She used to be on good terms with their parents and brothers,” he said.

Vojic and Mesic were ordered to pay 14,000 euros to the victim in compensation within 90 days of the verdict becoming legally binding.

The verdict can be appealed.
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