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Croatia jails Serb paramilitary commander for war crimes
September 26, 2017 / 1:10 PM / 2 months ago

Croatia jails Serb paramilitary commander for war crimes

ZAGREB (Reuters) - A Croatian court on Tuesday sentenced a Serb former paramilitary commander to 15 years in prison for torturing and killing soldiers and civilians during Croatia’s 1991-95 independence war.

Former Serb paramilitary commander Dragan Vasiljkovic (C), known as Captain Dragan and accused of torturing and killing soldiers and civilians during the 1991-95 independence war, goes on trial in court in Split, Croatia, September 20, 2016. PIXSELL/Ivo Cagalj/via REUTERS

Dragan Vasiljkovic, 62, who has dual Serbian and Australian citizenship, was charged with violating the Geneva Convention by torturing and killing captive Croatian soldiers and police in the rebel stronghold of Knin and for crimes near the towns of Glina and Benkovac in 1991 and 1993.

Vasiljkovic, whose trial in the Adriatic city of Split took one year, denied he had committed any crimes and can file an appeal.

He was extradited to Croatia in 2015 after losing a nine-year battle to block extradition. He had been living in Perth

and working as a golf instructor under the name Daniel Snedden.

Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 but its Serb minority, backed by Belgrade, seized a third of the country by force. Croatia retook its occupied territory in a 1995 offensive.

Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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