ICTY hands down final verdict to Lukic brothers
SARAJEVO, December 4 - RAPSI, Yulia Petrovskaya. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has confirmed the life imprisonment sentence issued to Bosnian Serb Milan Lukic and reduced the imprisonment term for his cousin Sredoje Lukic from 30 to 27 years for the military crimes the two committed against Muslims during the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Tanjug news agency reported.
The ICTY considered the actions the two committed from June 7, 1992, to October 1994. During that time, Milan Lukic headed the Serb paramilitary group known as White Eagles, which acted in the Visegrad municipality and its vicinity. Sredoje Lukic was one of the members of the group.
The court found that Milan Lukic personally killed no less than 132 Muslims and organized the for at least 119 civilians to be burnt alive, including woman, old men and children in two houses in Visegrad. He himself shot any who tried to escape from the burning houses. The defendant listened to the final sentence while leafing through the Bible. As for his cousin, the tribunal found that he did not personally participate in the murders and burnings of civilians, but he was present at the site of the crime and accompanied the civilians to the house, well aware of the upcoming atrocity. The cousins were accused of a number of other crimes against Muslims. The prosecutors claim that the terror in Visegrad was one of the most severe ethnic cleansing campaigns in the former Yugoslavia.
Milan Lukic had been hiding from international justice for a long time. He was arrested in Argentina in August 2005 and handed to the ICTY. In September 2005, Sredoje voluntarily gave himself up to the police, who transferred him to the Hague tribunal. Neither of the two pleaded guilty. In June 2009, a Belgrade court also sentenced Milan Lukic, in his absentia, to 20 years in prison for the murder of 16 Muslims, whom he and his accomplices forced to get off a bus to be shot in Sjeverin.