Former Bosnian Croat President convicted 25 years for war crimes

Former Bosnian Croat president Jadranko Prlic and five co-defendants were jailed on Wednesday for between 10 and 25 years for murdering and deporting Muslims in Bosnia in the early 1990s to create a “greater Croatian state”.

The six former top Bosnian Croat officials faced 26 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their roles in the brutal conflict which formed part of the greater war that broke out after Yugoslavia crumbled in 1991 and in which 100,000 people were killed.

Prlic, 53, and three others were found guilty of 22 counts by the Yugoslav war crimes court in The Hague while two accused were acquitted of some of the charges.

“The trial chamber is satisfied that Jadranko Prlic made a significant contribution to a joint criminal enterprise and to a criminal purpose to drive out the Muslim population,” French judge Jean-Claude Antonetti told the court.

“The trial chamber therefore sentences you to 25 years in prison,” Antonetti said as Prlic, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and light-blue striped tie, stood and listened without showing any emotion.

The former president and later also prime minister of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Croat state of Herceg-Bosna has been on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since April 2006.

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