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Bosnian Croat Commander Gets 12 Years

TU No 452, 12-May-06
By IWPR
Some 31 civilians were killed by forces under Rajic’s command during the attack, Muslim women were sexually assaulted and most of the village was destroyed.



Rajic admitted that he had known that soldiers under his command had previously committed serious crimes against Bosnian Muslims, including assaults, murder and rape.



On the same day in October 1993, he also ordered the detention of military-aged Muslim men in the town of Vares, during which people were beaten and robbed.



The 12-year jail term handed down by the court was at the lower end of the sentencing range recommended by prosecutors as part of a plea agreement arranged with Rajic, in which he consented to provide testimony in future war crimes proceedings.



In deciding upon the sentence, the judges took into account their assessment that his recent expression of remorse was “real and sincere”.

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Tribunal “Disappointed” at Indictee’s Release



A spokesperson for the tribunal said this week he was unhappy that a Russian court had freed a Bosnian Serb indicted for war crimes and was seeking more information from Moscow.



“We are disappointed about the release of Dragan Zelenovic,” said Christian Chartier, speaking to journalists at a weekly press briefing.



He added that the court had only heard about the release through media reports and had not been formally notified.



According to Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, Zelenovic was released on bail at the weekend. A former military policeman, he has been charged with multiple counts of crimes against humanity and violations of laws or customs of war committed in the town of Foca, south-eastern Bosnia.



He was detained by the authorities of the Russian Federation in western Siberia in August 2005. An amended 2001 indictment charged Zelenovic and fellow military policeman Gojko Jankovic with 14 counts each of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war.



Tribunal insiders say that Russia has delayed the transfer of the accused following the death in custody of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic.

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