Four Bosnian Serbs jailed for war crimes killings
Source: reuters // Reuters
* Four Bosnian Serbs jailed, one released
* Ex-police commander fails to show up for verdict
* More than 1,000 people still missing from Prijedor
By Daria Sito-Sucic
SARAJEVO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Bosnia's war crimes court handed down long jail sentences on Tuesday on four Bosnian Serb ex-policemen for killing of more than 150 Bosnian Muslims in central Bosnia early in the 1992-95 war.
The court jailed Dusan Jankovic for 27 years, Zoran Babic and Milorad Skrbic for 22 years and Zeljko Stojnic for 15 years for committing war crimes against humanity, the judicial council's president Minka Kreho said.
"The court concluded that (they) committed crimes against humanity, including killings, persecution and robbery of Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims) and Croat civilians," Kreho said.
Milorad Radakovic, the fifth from a group of former policemen from the northwestern town of Prijedor, was acquitted, Kreho said.
The group were accused of taking part in the persecution of 1,200 Bosniak and Croat civilians from Prijedor, organised by the Bosnian Serb authorities as part of an early wave of so-called "ethnic cleansing" as they tried to create an exclusive Serb statelet.
The civilians, including women, children and elderly people, were taken by buses to the nearby town of Banja Luka. But more than 150 men were taken by separate buses to the site at the Mount Vlasic and executed, Kreho said.
"They took them to the Koricanske Stijene cliff, ordered one group to kneel at the edge of the ravine and then shot them," Kreho said. "They fell into the abyss while some jumped of their own will but then died of injuries."
Some however survived and witnessed in the case.
The men from another group were shot by guns and thrown in the abyss. The Serb policemen then threw hand grenades and fired at random into the ravine to make sure the victims were dead, Kreho said.
The orders were given by Prijedor ex-police commander Dusko Jankovic, who did not show up for the verdict. The court has ordered the border police and security agencies to find him, Kreho said.
The court has already jailed three Bosnian Serb ex-policemen over the Mount Vlasic massacre, after they pleaded guilty. The United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague sentenced in 2004 another Serb policeman, Darko Mrdja, to 17 years for the same crime.
Forensic experts last year found the remains of around 60 Bosniaks and Croats in the Koricanske Stijene ravine. They said that some bodies were burned and some probably moved in order to hide the traces of the crime.
More than 1,000 Muslims and Croats from the Prijedor area, known for notorious Serb-run wartime detention camps, are still unaccounted for. (Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and Angus MacSwan)
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