In 2006, Bosnian Serb soldier Mladen Blagojevic was arrested in the United States and deported to Bosnia to face war crimes charges dating back to the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. On November 6th, 2008 he was found guilty for Crimes Against Humanity over his involvement in the Srebrenica genocide. Srebrenica genocide claimed lives of 8,000 to 10,000 Bosniaks (Muslims), many of them children under the age of 18. Women were forcibly deported from the enclave in a UN-assisted ethnic cleansing.
Photo of Mladen Blagojevic: GUILTY!
On 6 November 2008, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered the first instance Verdict in the case of Zdravko Bozic and Others. The Court found Mladen Blagojevic, former Bosnian Serb soldier who participated in the Srebrenica genocide, guilty of Crimes against Humanity. Co-accused Zdravko Bozic, Zoran Zivanovic and Zeljko Zaric have been acquitted on all counts of the Indictment. Zdravko Bozic and Mladen Blagojevic were deported to Bosnia in June and November of 2006 for lying to U.S. immigration authorities about their service in the Bosnian Serb military during the 1992-95 war.
According to the judgment, Mladen Blagojevic is guilty of taking a part in the widespread and systematic attack by the Serb Army and Police of the Republika Srpska (RS) directed against the Bosniak civilian population of the UN safe area Srebrenica, between 11 and 18 July 1995. Blagojevic was a member of Military Police Platoon of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. The Court found that he willingly took part in persecuting civilian Bosniak population in Srebrenica on political, national, ethnic, cultural and religious grounds, with a view to inflicting serious bodily injuries.
is found guilty… of willingly taking part in persecution of the civilian Bosniak
[Bosnian Muslim] population with a goal to commit inhuman acts,” presiding judge Stanisa Gluhajic
, who is of Serb ethnic background, told the Court. Accordingly, Blagojevic
thereby committed the criminal offence of Crimes against Humanity and the Court sentenced him to 7 years imprisonment. The time Blagojevic
spent in custody under the decisions of this Court from 17 November 2006 onwards will be credited against the prison sentence.
The judge Gluhajic said that Blagojevic guarded a school “Vuk Karadzic” in the town of Bratunac, where Bosniak civilians were being held against their will. Blagojevic beat and tortured these detainees and took part in the execution of at least five civilians during the night of 13 to 14 July 1995. Witnesses also saw Blagojevic firing a machine gun at a Bosniak civilian standing near the window of “Vuk Karadzic” school in the eastern town of Bratunac, but could not tell if the man died. Blagojevic was shooting at civilians from a military vehicle, parked in front of the school. He also participated in the forcible separation of Bosniak men from women and children in Srebrenica knowing they would be deported from the enclave.
The judge said three other suspects were acquitted because prosecutors failed to present enough evidence, something that associations of Srebrenica survivors and relatives of Srebrenica genocide victims find hard to believe. Prosecutors said they would appeal.