Enforced disappearances – a former police officer sentenced for crimes against humanity

05.12.2018 ( Last modified: 10.12.2018 )

Last Friday, a former Bosnian-Serb policeman, Darko Mrđa, was sentenced to 15 years in prisonby the Court (of BiH) for crimes against humanity. He was appearing for the murder of Said Sadić, who was abducted from his home in August 1992 and has since disappeared.

“You will not need your shoes anymore,” Darko Mrđa told Said Sadić when he came to his home in the village of Tukovi, before killing him two kilometers away. The disappearance of Said Sadić is one of 50 cases of enforced disappearances brought by TRIAL International before the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In two decisions issued by the Constitutional Court, in 2012 and 2013, local authorities were ordered to conduct thorough and comprehensive investigations into those enforced disappearances cases.

In 2016, as a result of those decisions, an indictment was raised against Darko Mrđa for one of the reported enforced disappearance cases, and he was arrested. Darko Mrđa had previously been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for participating in the killing of 200 civilians, and in the commission of inhumane acts (in the form of murder attempts) against 12 other civilians in Koricanske Stijene, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 21 August 1992.

The conviction of Darko Mrđa for the murder of Said Sadić is great news for returnees and families of missing persons who felt intimidated by his return to Prijedor (his hometown). TRIAL International welcomes his condemnation as a major victory in the fight against impunity for crimes committed during the war.

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