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7 November 2014
News

Female Bosnian Serb Fighters Seek Plea Bargain

Dzenita Durakovic BIRN BiH Bihac
Former fighters Bora Kuburic and Radmila Banjac, accused of torturing and humiliating a wounded Bosniak nurse near Bosanska Krupa in 1992, are starting talks on a plea bargain.
Defence lawyers for Kuburic and Banjac told a status conference at the cantonal court in Bihac on Friday that they will begin negotiations on a plea, which would involve admitting guilt.

Kuburic and Banjac are accused of the torture and inhumane treatment of a nurse from the Kljucko-Sanska Unit of the Bosnian Army who was captured by Bosnian Serb troops in the Radic area of the Bosanska Krupa municipality in the sumer of 1992.

The captured nurse, who was wounded in head and leg, was handed over to members of the Women’s Front of Bosnian Serb Army’s Petrovac Brigade, including Kuburic and Banjac. The Women’s Front’s commander could not be located for prosecution.

“They brought her to a valley near the school in Radic, where a large number of the village’s residents were gathered. Ranka Tomic ordered her to strip naked and crawl on the ground, which caused multiple lacerations,” the indictment said.

According to the indictment, Tomic then ordered the wounded nurse was to dig her own grave while she was sexually abused with branches between her legs.

“At one point Kuburic and Banjac approached and hit the victim with sticks from a hazel tree until they broke and then Banjac cut off her hair with a knife and made a cross on her head, and later made a cross with a knife on her back, which caused serious bleeding,” it said.

“Continuing the torture, Kuburic took a knife and cut the lower part of the victim's ear,” it added.

A juvenile, Veseljko Djukic, who was also with the two female fighters, then ordered the nurse to lie on her back in the grave and he killed her with multiple shots to the head.

The head of the trial chamber, Jasminka Karabagovic, gave a 15-day deadline for the plea-bargain negotiations. The next hearing is scheduled for December 2.

The accused have not been remanded in custody.

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