Courtside: Celebici Case

By Chris Stephen in The Hague (TU 307, 31 March – 4 April 2003)

Courtside: Celebici Case

By Chris Stephen in The Hague (TU 307, 31 March – 4 April 2003)

Tuesday, 22 February, 2005

Former detention camp guards Hazim Delic, Esad Landzo, both Muslims, and Zdravko Mucic, a Croat, had respective sentences of 18, 15 and nine years confirmed.

All were found guilty of causing suffering to Serb prisoners in Celebici camp, which was built by Bosnian Muslim and Croat forces in 1992 near the central Bosnian town of Konjic.

"The appeals are dismissed and the sentences imposed by the trial chamber in October 2001 are confirmed," said presiding judge Theodor Meron.

Mucic, 47, was the camp commander. Delic, 38, was his deputy and Landzo, 30, was a guard. All were convicted for murder, torture, sexual assault and abuse of prisoners.

This is one of The Hague’s oldest cases, and has lasted for six years including appeals.

The men were first convicted in 1998 and jailed for up to 20 years. In 2001, an appeal confirmed that Delic, Landzo and Mucic were guilty of war crimes.

But that appeal dismissed some other charges, and sent the case back to a lower court. At the next hearing, also in 2001, all were again found guilty once again.

Mucic was convicted of being responsible, as commander, for a range of murders, torture and mistreatment committed by his men.

Delic was convicted of the rape of two women and sentenced to 18 years. Landzo was found guilty of murder, torture and inhumane treatment, and was jailed for 15 years.

Now they have lost their final appeal. Judges told the men they will get a reduction in sentence for the time already spent in The Hague detention centre.

All will now be transferred to prisons in nations which have volunteered to hold them.

Chris Stephen is IWPR's project manager in The Hague.

Support our journalists