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Veselin Vlahovic: Bosnia jails man for 45 years for war crimes

Veselin Vlahovic, a former Serb paramilitary commander, was sentenced by a Bosnian court to 45 years in prison for war crimes during the 1992-1995 conflict.

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A gavel rests on top of a desk. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Veselin Vlahovic, a former Serb paramilitary commander, was sentenced by a Bosnian court to 45 years in prison for war crimes during the 1992-1995 conflict.

Vlahovic — also known as the "Monster of Grbavica" after a district of Sarajevo — was found guilty on more than 60 counts, including murder, rape and torture of Bosnian Muslims and Croat civilians. He had pleaded not guilty, but was given the longest sentence so far by the Bosnian war crimes court.

The verdict took two hours to read because of the long list of crimes involved.

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In his closing statement, prosecutor Behaija Krnjic said Vlahovic's name was "the synonym for evil."

Judge Zoran Bozic said Vlahovic killed 31 people, raped numerous Bosnian and Croat women, and tortured and robbed non-Serbian residents of the city. The judge described other crimes as well, including how Vlahovic cut the throats of two brothers in front of their mother, then killed her and raped the men's wives.

Spokesman for the Prosecutor's office Boris Grubisic said they were happy with the maximum sentence being handed down.

"The prosecution knows that the number of Vlahovic's crimes is much greater, but those crimes could not have been included in the indictment due to lack of credible witnesses," Grubisic added.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/130329/veselin-vlahovic-bosnia-jails-man-45-years-war-crimes