Bosnian court sentences Vildan Kljuco to three years for joining Syrian battlefield

NEWS 28.05.202413:04 0 komentara
Sud BiH

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sentenced Vildan Kljuco to three years in prison for going to the Syrian battlefield, where he stayed from 2012 to 2023. Pročitaj više

Kljuco was found guilty of unlawfully forming and joining foreign paramilitary or parapolice formations.

“Anyone who joins a foreign military, paramilitary, or parapolice formation in any way shall be punished with a minimum of three years in prison,” stated the presiding judge Izo Tankic.

Tankic said that the Court determined the prescribed minimum sentence would serve its purpose but found no particularly mitigating circumstances to impose a sentence below the minimum.

According to the first-instance verdict, Kljuco traveled to Turkey on February 28, 2012, from where he moved to Syria and joined a unit that became part of the Syrian Liberation Army with the aim of violently changing the regime in that country.

Judge Tankic reminded of the testimonies of witnesses who spoke about the accused's stay and activities in Syria.

“They joined that unit, took up arms, and went on guard duty,” said Tankic, adding that some witnesses said they decided to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Kljuco told them he did not intend to return.

The judge noted that the Court established Kljuco was in Syria even after 2014, when joining foreign formations became a criminal offense.

The accused has been in custody since his return to Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 15, 2023.

Kljuco did not attend the sentencing. The Prosecution previously stated that he was one of the Bosnian nationals with the longest stay on a foreign battlefield.

According to the Prosecution, he was accused of organizing a terrorist group. As previously mentioned, he stayed in Syria and Iraq, where he fought in the military unit “Ahmed Asafa” in the territory controlled by the so-called ISIL, which the United Nations has declared a terrorist organization.

An appeal against the verdict is allowed.

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