Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Josipovic Freed

(TU No 442, 3-Mar-06)
Drago Josipovic had been in custody since giving himself up in 1997, apart from a brief period of release to attend his mother’s funeral the following year.

“I’m feeling all right, but still can’t believe I’m free and without the walls surrounding me,” he told the Croatian daily Vecernji List this week.

Josipovic was convicted of taking part in a surprise attack by the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, on the village of Ahmici in central Bosnia on April 16, 1993. Over 100 civilians were killed and 169 homes and two mosques destroyed. Hague judges ruled that the assault was part of a campaign to drive out the local Muslim population.

Josipovic originally received 15 years in 1999 for persecution, murder and inhumane acts. Two years later, the appeals chamber reduced his sentence.

He continues to insist that he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

“I spent almost eight and a half years innocent behind the bars,” he said after his release this week. “I’m leaving prison with my head held high, with the purpose of proving to everyone my innocence… For me and my family, the fight continues.”

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