Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnian court sentences US embassy attacker to 18 years
Izvor: Sipa Press / Autor: RUVIC/CROPIX/SIPA
"The prosecution has proved beyond any doubt that Mevlid Jasarevic committed a crime of terrorism," Judge Branko Peric said, recalling that the accused had admitted firing over a hundred bullets during the attack.
During the attack, Jasarevic badly wounded police officer Mirsad Velic in both legs, which the court took as an aggravating circumstance.
Jasarevic, a member of a radical Islamic Wahhabi community living in the northeastern village of Gornja Maoca near Brcko, attacked the US Embassy in Sarajevo in order to force the US to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. In a farewell message left before the attack, he threatened Germany for the same reason.
Emrah Fojnica and Munib Ahmetspahic, who were charged as accomplices and members of the same terrorist group, were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Explaining the length of the sentence, Judge Peric said it was close to the maximum prison sentence of 20 years and was the longest sentence given to date in Bosnia and Herzegovina for an act of terrorism.
The judge said that terrorism posed a growing threat to Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state, citing the Wahhabi community in Gornja Maoca that openly denied Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state and its laws. He recalled that 12 people were currently on trial on terrorism charges in four separate cases.
Jasarevic's lawyer Senad Dupovac announced an appeal, while his client had said in his closing statement that terrorist attacks would not stop regardless of the verdict against him. "This statement alone has earned him a few more years in prison," Dupovac said, adding that Jasarevic had made it clear to him earlier that he would ask to serve his sentence in Serbia because he is a Serbian citizen.
Jasarevic has also been indicted by the US, but Dupovac said he had not seen the indictment to date and believed that his client would not be extradited to the US.
Jasarevic and his whole family originate from the predominantly Muslim region of Sandzak in Serbia where he has permanent residence and his wife and son also live there. Over the last few years, he has frequently visited Bosnia and Herzegovina, mostly staying in Gornja Maoca. Bosnian security services had monitored his movements, but an investigation revealed that they had not registered his visit prior to the attack.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Mevlid Jašarević
- Emrah Fojnica
- Munib Ahmetspahic