Ex-police officer accused of mistreating non-Serb civilians during Bosnian war – EU-OCS

Bosnian prosecutors charged former police officer Miodrag Djurkic with committing crimes against humanity, including the mistreatment of prisoners, in 1992.

Djurkic allegedly illegally arrested, detained and mistreated non-Serb civilians on ethnic and religious grounds in the municipality of Donji Vakuf.

According to the prosecution, Djurkic committed his crimes from June 1992 until the end of September 1992, when he was working as a criminal technician at the Donji Vakuf public security police station.

The prosecution also alleged that Djurkic mistreated prisoners from July to September 1992 in his capacity as director of the Vrbaspromet detention center, under the jurisdiction of the Donji Vakuf public security station.

In a statement delivered to court, the prosecution said Djurkic oversaw the unlawful arrest and detention of approximately 100 non-Serb civilians. They were then taken to the Vrbaspromet detention center in Donji Vakuf.

Prisoner abuse that followed included “torture, abuse, cruel beatings and inhumane treatment” that ultimately “resulted in the deaths of two civilians”, the prosecution said.

In addition, four civilian prisoners were taken to an unknown location. Their bodies were never found, the statement said.

Djurkic allegedly committed the ill-treatment of prisoners as part of a systematic attack against the non-Serb population of the municipality of Donji Vakuf.

Earlier this month, a Serbian court found ex-policeman Milorad Jovanovic guilty of torturing prisoners during the same period.

According to the Belgrade court, Jovanovic also tortured non-Serb prisoners. One of the prisoners died as a result of his abuse.

The Bosnian War was an ethnic war that fought from 1992 to 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country is a former republic of Yugoslavia and is made up of a multi-ethnic population including Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), Serbs and Croats.

For nearly two decades, Serbian and Bosnian authorities have been pursuing war crimes trials against individuals involved in fighting throughout the Bosnian war. The most important cases were those brought against the Serbian and Bosnian Serb authorities.

Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, for example, was arrested in 2001 and charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. He died in 2006 before his trial was completed. Former Bosnian Croat military general Slobodan Praljak has overturned his own war crimes ruling in 2017 and ended his life by drinking from a bottle of poison he had smuggled into the courtroom .

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