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Bosnian Serb Acquitted in War Crimes Trial

May 31, 1995 GMT

SALZBURG, Austria (AP) _ A 27-year-old former Bosnian Serb prison guard was acquitted today of charges that he committed murder and genocide against Muslim prisoners at a camp in his homeland.

An eight-member jury found Dusko Cvjetkovic innocent of the charges to conclude a trial that began last October. It was the first war crimes trial outside of former Yugoslavia from the Bosnian conflict.

The prosecution’s case was damaged by lack of evidence and contradictory testimony. Cvjetkovic remained in custody after the verdict because the prosecutor appealed. He could be held indefinitely.


Cvjetkovic was originally charged with complicty in murder, genocide and arson. But when the trial resumed after a break on Tuesday, the prosecution presented modified charges of genocide, murder and inflicting mental pain on Muslim inmates at the Kamenica prison camp.

Cvjetkovic was alleged to have killed at least one Muslim in his home village of Kucice, and taking part in the abduction of two others to Kamenica. The revised indictment accused him of maltreating and inflicting mental pain in five cases as a guard at Kamenica, now closed.

However, none of the five Bosnian Muslims who testified Tuesday were able to identify Cvjetkovic in court.

Cvjetkovic was arrested in May 1994 after a former Muslim inhabitant of Kucice recognized him in Salzburg and accused him of the crimes.

Austrian prosecutors claimed jurisdiction because Cvjetkovic was arrested in their country.

The U.N. war crimes tribunal currently convened in the Netherlands did not ask for jurisdiction over Cvjetkovic’s trial. It was not immediately clear why.