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Tuesday, 13 November, 2001, 16:26 GMT
Bosnia prison guards jailed
Footage of camps in north Bosnia shocked the world
The international war crimes tribunal at The Hague has sentenced three Bosnian Serb prison guards to up to 15 years in jail for crimes against humanity at the notorious Keraterm camp in north-western Bosnia.

Dragan Kolundzija
Dragan Kolundzija: One of the senior guards jailed
More than 7,000 non-Serb inmates were held in the camp near Prijedor during the Bosnian war in the early 1990s, where they were starved, beaten, sexually assaulted and held in camps too small to lie down in, according to the indictment.

The men - Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen and Dragan Kolundzija - worked at the camp in 1992.

The longest sentence was given to the camp security chief, Dusko Sikirica. Senior guards Damir Dosen and Dragan Kolundzija each received sentences of five and three years respectively.

All had pleaded guilty in exchange for reduced sentences.

'Inhumane conditions'

The men were sentenced for taking part in persecution and confinement of Muslims and Croats in "inhumane conditions" at the camp.

A plea deal made with prosecutors towards the end of the seven-month trial meant that charges of genocide were dropped against Sikirica, who received the heaviest sentence as the most senior of the men.

Damir Dosen
Damir Dosen: Sentenced to five years
He admitted that murders took place at the camp and confessed to shooting one man himself.

At the beginning of the trial in March, the prosecutor, Dirk Ryneveld, said the defendants were part of what he termed an orchestrated rampage of persecution and terror intended to eliminate the non-Serb population in the Prijedor region.

Presiding Judge Patrick Johnson said the court had taken into account the men's expression of remorse and the fact that they had pleaded guilty.

Keraterm was one of three camps in north-western Bosnia where Serbs detained Muslim and Croats during the war.

Five Bosnian Serbs who worked at the nearby Omarska camp were sentenced to jail earlier this month.

Television footage of emaciated prisoners at the camps in north-western Bosnia alerted the outside world to the brutality of the ethnic cleansing by Bosnian Serb forces in the region.

The BBC's Nick Hawton
"Hundreds of Bosnian Muslims and Croats were killed and tortured"
See also:

02 Nov 01 | Europe
Omarska: A vision of hell
30 Oct 01 | Europe
Milosevic trial date set
23 Oct 01 | Europe
Bosnian Croats freed on appeal
03 Jul 01 | Europe
At a glance: Hague tribunal
03 Jul 01 | Europe
What is a war crime?
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