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The BBC's William Horsley
"He was said to have boasted that he killed 20 people before his morning coffee"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 14 December, 1999, 13:45 GMT
Bosnian Serb jailed for war crimes

Jelisic Jelisic was acquitted of genocide


The UN war crimes tribunal has sentenced a Bosnian Serb prison camp guard to 40 years in jail for the murder and torture of Muslims in the spring of 1992.

Goran Jelisic, 31, a former mechanic who styled himself the 'Bosnian Serb Adolf', was convicted in October on 31 counts of torture and murder at the Serb-run Luka prison camp near the northern Bosnian town of Brcko.

The sentence is the harshest handed down so far by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Prosecutors had called for the maximum life sentence for Jelisic.


Prison camp Muslims were detained at the camp in appalling conditions
During a two-week period, they said, Jelisic had selected detainees almost every day for interrogation and subsequent execution.

Hundreds of Bosnian Muslims and Croats were detained at the camp in what are reported to have been appalling conditions after being forced from their homes.

The bodies of Jelisic's victims were thrown into the nearby Sava river.

"Dangerous nature"

After reading out the names of the victims, judge Claude Jorda noted the "repugnant, bestial and sadistic nature" of Jelisic's behaviour.

He said: "The crimes which you, Goran Jelisic, have committed have shocked the conscience of mankind.

"The trial chamber considers that your scornful attitude toward your victims, your enthusiasm for committing the crimes, the inhumanity of the crimes and your dangerous nature ... constitute especially aggravating circumstances."

Jelisic, who admitted 12 specific killings, was cleared of the tribunal's gravest charge of genocide after judges ruled the prosecution had failed to prove the intent to destroy an ethnic or religious group.

In pressing for the genocide conviction, prosecutors had hoped to reveal an organised campaign intended to wipe out the local Muslim population and a trail of evidence linking Jelisic to more senior Serb officials.

It would have been the first genocide verdict registered by the court. Prosecutors are considering an appeal against the ruling

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See also:
19 Oct 99 |  Europe
Serb commander acquitted of genocide
13 Oct 99 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Trial and retribution
31 Aug 99 |  Europe
Bosnian Serb general denies war crimes
02 Aug 99 |  Europe
Nato grabs war crimes suspect

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