A Bosnian man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for terrorism over a 2010 bomb attack on a police station that killed one.
On Friday, a court in Bosnia found Haris Causevic guilty of planting and triggering a powerful improvised bomb behind a police station in the central Bosnian town of Bugojno three years ago.
“Haris Causevic has committed a criminal act of terrorism and this court sentences him to a maximum prison term of 45 years in jail,” judge Goran Radevic said on Friday while reading the verdict.
The explosion killed a police officer and injured several others. Nearby buildings and vehicles were also seriously damaged in the attack.
The aim of the terrorist act was to intimidate the population and seriously destabilise Bosnia-Hercegovina's basic political, constitutional and social structures
Causevic was found guilty of plotting to commit other crimes as well, including kidnapping police officers and their children, with the aim of forcing Bosnia to introduce strict Islamic laws, the judge said.
“The aim of the terrorist act was to intimidate the population and seriously destabilise Bosnia-Hercegovina’s basic political, constitutional and social structures,” Radevic said.
The court acquitted Naser Palismanovic, Causevic’s alleged accomplice. Both men are followers of the Wahhabi sect, an austere brand of Sunni Islam.
Causevic’s sentence is the harshest the court has ever pronounced for terrorism in Bosnia.
Another suspect, Adnan Haracic was tried separately in July 2012 after he had admitted taking part in the June 2010 blast. He was then sentenced to 14
years in jail.
Three more suspects were also indicted for helping the perpetrators after the blast. Their trial will also be held separately.
During Bosnia’s 1992-95 inter-ethnic war between Croats, Muslims and Serbs, a large number of volunteers from Islamic nations flocked to the Balkan country to join Muslim troops.
Many of these so-called mujahedeen fighters stayed on after the conflict and obtained Bosnian citizenship.
A number of Bosnian Muslims – generally a moderate community making up 40 percent of the population – have accepted the Wahhabi doctrine and way of life.