World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN war crimes court: Bosnian Croat gets 20 years

UN war crimes court for former Yugoslavia sentences Bosnian Croat to 20 years

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) today sentenced Bosnian Croat Miroslav Bralo to 20 years’ imprisonment for his role in the multiple murder, rape, torture, unlawful confinement and inhumane treatment of Bosnian Muslim civilians in 1993.

Mr. Bralo, a former member of the anti-terrorist platoon of the 4th Military Police Battalion of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) known as the “Jokers,” pleaded guilty in July to a broad range of war crimes committed in and around the central Bosnian villages of Ahmici and Nadioci.

In its summary of the judgment, read out at the Hague-based court, the ICTY called the crimes appalling. Addressing Mr. Bralo, the court said, “There can be no excuse or justification for your actions, nor can your reasons for abusing so many people be fathomed.”

In weighing the gravity of the crimes against mitigating circumstances, the three judges of the Trial Chamber considered the fact that Mr. Bralo pleaded guilty to his crimes. “Such a guilty plea is a profound acknowledgement of personal responsibility and provides a much greater contribution to the reconciliation of people in the affected region than a finding of guilt after a trial in which the accused consistently denies his crimes,” the court observed. “It also spares vulnerable victims and witnesses from having to testify at trial, and furthers the judicial process of the Tribunal.”

Furthermore, the Trial Chamber noted that Miroslav Bralo had submitted evidence of his remorse, including his written and oral statements and it recognized “his attempts to assist in the location and exhumation of the bodies of those who were killed….in the course of the attack on Ahmici.”

In passing sentence, the Trial Chamber stated that without the mitigating circumstances outlined in the judgement, the number of years’ imprisonment would have been considerably higher than the 20 year sentence imposed. In its summary, the Trial Chamber noted that it was in particular Miroslav Bralo’s guilty plea prior to trial, his remorse and steps toward rehabilitation which led it to impose a lower sentence.

Miroslav Bralo will remain in the custody of the Tribunal until he is transferred to a State to serve his sentence.

Since its inception in 1993, the Tribunal has charged 161 persons for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. To date, proceedings against 88 persons have concluded. Seven indicted persons remain at large.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC