Court sentences Bosnian Croat

A Bosnian court has sentenced a former member of Bosnian Croat forces to six years in jail for war crimes against Muslim civilians committed during the country's 1992-95 war.

    Evidence of war crimes in Bosnia continues to be uncovered

    Local television reported on Tuesday that a county court in the southern town of Mostar sentenced Mario Matic for killing Ismet Kovacevic and maltreating Vejsil Hajduk in April 1993, during the Muslim-Croat inter-ethnic fighting.

    The crimes were committed in the southern town of Konjic, some 40kms southwest of Sarajevo. Matic's lawyer Marko Martinovic said he would appeal the verdict.

    In April of 1992, Bosnia declared independence from Yugoslavia.

    Almost immediately, the Bosnian Serb population rebelled against the Muslim and Croatian portions of the new nation.

    Background

    Although parts of the war saw the Muslims and Croats cooperate against their common foe, from 1993-1994 there was actally a three-way war when the Muslims and Croats battled each other as well as fighting Serbs.

    On 5 February 1994, Serb artillery hit a marketplace in Sarajevo, causing severe civilian casualties.

    This prompted US pressure on the Muslims and Croats to stop fighting each other and unite against the Serbs.

    On 23 Feburary, both sides signed a cease-fire which soon led to the formation of the Muslim-Croat Bosnian Federation.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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