Serb sentenced to 15 years for rape, torture

A Bosnian Serb former policeman has been sentenced to 15 years in jail by the UN war crimes tribunal for the rape and torture of Bosnian Muslim women.

Serb sentenced to 15 years for rape, torture

Dragan Zelenovic,a former Bosnian Serb policeman, has been jailed for 15 years for therape and torture of Bosnian Muslims during the 1992-1995 war.  

The 46-year-old former paramilitary leader was sentenced by the UN war crimestribunal on Wednesday after pleading guilty to seven charges ofcrimes against humanity. 

 

The courtfound him guilty of personally committing nine rapes of women in Serbdetention, eight of which also qualified as torture. and four of whichwere gang rapes.

Four of the victims were subjected to gang rapes,including one 15-year-old-girl.

 

Zelenovicwas indicted in 1996 for crimes committed against non-Serbs in his native Focaregion, southeast of Sarajevo.

Sexual assaults

"The victims at the detention centres in Foca suffered the unspeakablepain, indignity, and humiliation of being repeatedly violated, without knowingwhether they would survive the ordeal," Judge Alphons Orie said.
  

"Thescars left by the sexual assaults were deep and will perhaps never heal. This,perhaps more than anything, speaks about the gravity of the crimes in thiscase."  

Zelenovic'sdefence had recommended a sentence of 7 to 10 years, while prosecutors pushedfor 10 to 15.  

Lastyear, he pleaded "not guilty" to 14 counts of rape and torture, but underthe terms of a plea bargain between his defence team and prosecutors headmitted to seven charges in January while the others were dropped.  

AfterSerb forces took control of Foca, whose population at the time was 52 per centMuslim and 45 per cent Serb, they unlawfully detained thousands of Muslims andCroats. 

Humiliatingtreatment

Thenon-Serb women were separated from the men and many were later interrogated andsubjected to humiliating treatment, brutal beatings and sexual assaults. 

On oneoccasion Zelenovic took four Muslim women who were detained in a school to aseparate classroom and assigned each one to a soldier who raped them. 

He alsoaided and abetted in the gang rape of one woman by at least 10 soldiers, whichwas so violent that she lost consciousness. 

"Thevictims in this case were in a particularly vulnerable situation ... they wereunarmed and defenceless and detained under brutal conditions for long periodsof time," Orie said. 

He addedthat the court had considered several mitigating factors, such asZelenovic's remorse and his guilty plea, which had spared the victims theordeal of giving evidence.  

Zelenovicarrived in the Netherlandsto face trial in June 2006. He was arrested 10 months earlier in western Siberia, where Russian media said he had beenworking on construction sites under an assumed name.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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