SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2008) - The Bosnian State Court has announced today a first instance verdict against three Serbian war criminals for crimes against Bosnian civilians committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.
The Bosnian State Court announced a first instance verdict, sentencing Serbian war criminals Sreten Lazarevic, Dragan Stanojevic, Mile Markovic and Slobodan Ostojic to a total of 22 years' imprisonment.
The most severe sentence was the one pronounced against Serbian war criminal Sreten Lazarevic. The deputy commander of a concentration camp established by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in Zvornik ,is sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. Serbian war criminal Dragan Stanojevic was sentenced to 7 years, while Serbian war criminals Mile Markovic and Slobodan Ostojic were sentenced to five years each.
"The indictees are guilty of war crimes against civilians. They deliberately violated the international humanitarian law, by mistreating detained civilians in the prisons and causing them severe physical and mental suffering," Trial Chamber Chairwoman Mira Smajlovic said.
Explaining the verdict, the Trial Chamber said that "the indictees undoubtedly committed the crimes charged upon them", adding that "it has been proved that the detained Bosnian civilians, who were held in the concentration camp, were unarmed and non-uniformed persons or civilians at the moment when they were detained".
"The Court considers the facts that the indictees are family men, that they behaved in a correct manner during the course of the main trial and that there were numerous paramilitary groups in Zvornik in the period when the crimes were committed, as mitigating circumstances," the justification of the verdict states.
The four convicted Serbian war criminals do not have to cover the trial costs, because the Trial Chamber has concluded that "they do not have sufficient financial resources to pay for the costs".
The Bosnian State Court has referred the injured parties to this proceeding to file civil suits in order to settle their property and legal claims.