The Bosnian state prosecution charged former police officer Miodrag Djurkic with carrying out crimes against humanity, including prisoner abuse, in 1992.
Djurkic allegedly illegally arrested, detained and abused non-Serb civilians on ethnic and religious grounds in the Donji Vakuf municipality.
According to the prosecution, Djurkic committed his crimes from June 1992 to the end of September 1992, while working in his position as a criminal technician at the police’s Donji Vakuf Public Security Station.
The prosecution also alleged that Djurkic carried out prisoner abuse from July to September 1992 in his role as the warden of the Vrbaspromet detention facility, under the jurisdiction of the Donji Vakuf Public Security Station.
In a statement delivered to court, the prosecution said that Djurkic oversaw the illegal arrest and detention of some 100 non-Serb civilians. They were then taken to the Vrbaspromet detention facility in Donji Vakuf.
The ensuing prisoner abuse included “torture, abuse, cruel beatings and inhumane treatment” which ultimately “resulted in the deaths of two civilians,” said the prosecution.
In addition, four civilian prisoners were removed to an unknown location. Their bodies have never been found, the statement read.
Djurkic allegedly committed the prisoner abuse as part of a systematic attack on the non-Serb population in the Donji Vakuf municipality.
Earlier this month, a Serbian court found ex-policeman Milorad Jovanovic guilty of torturing prisoners during the same period.
According to the Belgrade court, Jovanovic also tortured non-Serb prisoners. One of the prisoners died as a result of his abuse.
The Bosnian War was an ethnically-rooted war that took place from 1992 to 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country is a former republic of Yugoslavia, and made up of a multiethnic population including Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Serbs and Croats.
For close to two decades, Serbian and Bosnian authorities have been pursuing war crimes trials against individuals involved in the fighting throughout the Bosnian War. The most prominent cases have been those brought against Serb and Bosnian Serb authorities.
Former Serbian president Slobodan Milošević, for example, was arrested in 2001 and charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. He died in 2006 before his trial had concluded. Former Bosnian Croat military general Slobodan Praljak rejected his own war crimes ruling delivered in 2017, and ended his life by drinking from a bottle of poison that he had smuggled into the courtroom.
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