Bosnian Muslim woman found guilty of war crimes

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Bosnian Muslim woman found guilty of war crimes

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Rasema Handanovic has become the first Muslim woman convicted of war crimes during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

After being extradited to Bosnia from the US, where she had become a naturalised citizen, the 39-year-old Bosnian was found guilty of killing six Bosnian Croat civilians and will serve five and a half years after pleading guilty.

Handanovic has agreed to testify against others who carried out the killings of eighteen Croat civilians and four prisoners of war.

Prosecution spokesperson Boris Grubesic said: “There are two more ongoing cases with females who were involved in war crimes in Dretelj camp and in war crimes in the area of Posavina.”

Handanovic, who the was a victim of wartime rape, was a member of the Zulfikar special unit commanded by Muslim Bosnians.

Despite uniting against Serbia, Bosnia’s Muslims and Croats fought against each other for eleven months in 1993 and 1994.

The only other woman to have been convicted of war crimes committed during the Bosnian War is former Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic.

Plavsic is now free after serving two thirds of an 11-year sentence.