Josipović, Drago

Drago Josipović was soldier of Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in Šantići, Bosnia-Herzegovina. M. Josipović was accused of having persecuted the Muslim inhabitants of Ahmići and its surroundings on political, racial or religious grounds by planning, organising and carrying out an attack aimed at evacuating or “cleansing” the village and the surrounding region of all of the Bosnian Muslims. One hundred people were killed including women and children, 169 houses were destroyed as well as two mosques

According to the indictment dated of 9 February 1998, Drago Josipović was charged on the grounds of his individual criminal responsibility with three counts for crimes against humanity (Persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds;  murder; inhumane acts; imprisonment) and two counts of violations of the laws or customs of war (murder and cruel treatments). Drago Josipović was indicted with Mirjan Kupreškić, Zoran Kupreškić, Vlatko Kupreškić, Dragan papić and Vladimir Šantić.

Drago Josipović gave himself up voluntarily on 6 October 1997 and was transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on the same day. When M. Josipović appeared before the ICTY for the first time he pleaded not guilty to counts he was charged.

On 14 January 2000, Drago Josipović was found guilty for three counts for crimes against humanity (Persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds) and was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. The Trial Chamber found Drago Josipović not guilty for violations of the laws or customs of war.

On 23 October 2001, the Appeals Chamber reduced the sentence from 15 to 12 years’ imprisonment. Drago Josipović requested a further review of his case which was rejected by the Appeals Chamber on 7 March 2003. He was released at the end of February 2006, having served two thirds of his sentence.

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