Two former members of Serbian paramilitary groups, Dusan Zarkovic and Bogdan Jednak, were sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia, for the killing of 21 Croatian civilians in December 1991 in the village of Josevica near Glina in central Croatia.
According to the media, the convicts are most likely to be found in Serbia.
The massacre that took place in Josevica is considered one of the most brutal war crimes to occur during the war Croatian war of independence. All the victims, of whom the youngest was 16, and the oldest 91, were killed in their homes from by a gun fitted with a silencer.
The convicts were members of the reconnaissance group of the SAO Krajina paramilitary unit. SAO Krajina was the name of the self declared, but unrecognised Serbian autonomous region that declared its independence from the rest of Croatia prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia. Judge Tomislav Juriša said that it was “one of the most gruesome crimes of the war”, that it was carefully planned and involved the military, political and intelligence structures of the SAO Krajina.
According to the Croatian media, the local police tried to investigate the crime, but the investigation was stopped by the then political and intelligence leadership of the SAO Krajina.
Three other defendants, Miroslav Malobabic, Dejan Sladovic and George Nashid Kama, walked free after the court found that there was insufficient evidence to convict them.
“It’s not because the court thinks they did not commit that crime. Indeed, we feel that they have participated in it, but for that we have no legal evidence. There are two, three indications, and no convicting judgment can be based on this,” said the judge in relation to the acquitted men.