Former Bosnian Serb Army serviceman Oliver Krsmanovic was sentenced to 18 years in prison for crimes against humanity including the killings and forced disappearances of Bosniaks in Visegrad in 1992.
The state court in Sarajevo on Monday found Krsmanovic guilty on eight counts for taking part in the killings and forced disappearances of Bosniak civilians, as well as other inhumane acts in the eastern Bosnian town of Visegrad during wartime.
The court ruled that Krsmanovic took part in the hijacking and killing of 16 Bosniak civilians travelling from Sjeverin in Serbia on October 22, 1992, and in the killings of eight Bosniak men at the Varda factory in Visegrad earlier that year.
According to the verdict, Krsmanovic, a member of the Second Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, committed the crimes with Milan Lukic, the leader of a Serb paramilitary unit called the White Eagles, who was sentenced by the Hague Tribunal to life in prison for crimes in Visegrad.
Krsmanovic was also convicted of being responsible for the forced disappearance of a number of civilians, the torture of one Bosniak in Visegrad and beating up a prisoner in the Rasadnik detention camp in 1995.
The court however cleared him of taking part in rapes and torture.
It also said that the prosecution failed to prove that Krsmanovic took part in the burning alive of 80 Bosniak civilians in Bikavac in June 1992.
“The role of the defendant [in the Bikavac killings] was unclear to the chamber,” said presiding judge Darko Samardzic.
The court further acquitted Krsmanovic of two incidents of rape and sexual abuse at the Vilina Vlas Hotel in Visegrad because the witnesses were unsure whether the defendant was the person who assaulted them.
“We believe that the punishment fits the crime and the role of the defendant,” said Samardzic.
“The chamber finds no mitigating circumstances. The fact that the defendant is a family man has no bearing on the crimes. He offered no remorse, but continued to commit crimes,” the judge added.
This verdict can be appealed, while the two-and-a-half years that Krsmanovic spent in custody from 2011 to 2013 will count toward his sentence.
Later this month, he will also stand trial in a separate case in which he is charged alongside nine other Bosnian Serbs with the abduction and killings of 20 passengers seized from a train at a station in Strpci in Bosnia in 1993.