The Supreme Court upheld a first-instance verdict of the Rijeka County Court, by which a member of Serbian "territorial forces" Đ. J. was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison for war crimes against civilians and the destruction of cultural and historical monuments in Saborsko in November 1991.
The Supreme Court reminded that Đ. J. was convicted of killing civilians, demolishing and burning houses and demolishing sacral buildings in 1991 during the armed conflict and of taking part in an attack on a village and issuing orders to shoot indiscriminately at civilian targets and buildings.
The Supreme Court specified that Đ. J., upon entering the village after overcoming resistance, together with two other men, led military units and ordered the liquidation of Croatian civilians, the demolition of houses, religious buildings and the looting of property.
The court added that at least 32 civilians were killed, a portion of homes were destroyed, property was looted and the local parish church of St. John of Nepomuk with the parish court was destroyed.
The Supreme Court clarified that the defendant's previous non-conviction was considered a mitigating circumstance, while the aggravating circumstance was the death of at least 32 civilians who were killed by shooting, hanging, burning and murder with a chainsaw.
In addition, it was considered aggravating that great material damage occurred to civil and sacral buildings.
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