Serb Paramilitary Leader’s Sentence for War Crimes Reduced

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 6, 2018 – Croatia’s Supreme Court has reduced the 15-year prison sentence to 13.5 years for Dragan Vasiljković aka Captain Dragan, wartime commander of a Serb paramilitary unit, for war crimes committed against Croatian soldiers and civilians during the 1991-1995 war of independence.

The final verdict, delivered on 12 June and published on the Supreme Court’s website on Friday, partly sustained objections made by the defendant. He was given seven years for each of the first two counts of the indictment, and the sentence was converted into a single sentence of 13 years and six months.

The Supreme Court upheld the remainder of the verdict handed down by Split County Court on 26 September 2016 which found Vasiljković guilty of war crimes in the Knin Fortress in June and July 1991 and during an attack on Glina, while acquitting him of ordering the murder of two unidentified Croatian soldiers at Bruska near Benkovac in February 1993.

Captain Dragan, who was born in Belgrade and holds the citizenship of Australia, which extradited him to Croatia in July 2015, was charged with violating the Geneva Conventions by torturing and killing Croatian prisoners of war in Knin in June and July 1991 and in Bruska near Benkovac in February 1993.

He was also found guilty of planning in July 1991, in agreement with the commander of a JNA tank unit, an attack on the police station in Glina, its suburb of Jukinac and the villages of Gornji Viduševac and Donji Viduševac, and their subsequent occupation. During the attack, civilian properties were damaged or destroyed, the local population was forced to flee their homes, their properties were plundered, and civilians were killed and wounded, including a foreign reporter.

Vasiljković has denied all the allegations.


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