World War II concentration camp commander found guilty in Croatia

07 December 1999

According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on October 4, 1999, a Zagreb county court convicted Mr Dinko Šakić, the former commander of the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia, for war crimes. He was sentenced to twenty years in prison, the maximum sentence available for war crimes against civilians under Article 120 of Croatian Penal Code. In the words of Chief Judge Dražen Tripalo, he "maltreated, tortured, and killed inmates and did nothing to prevent his subordinates from doing the same".
Mr Šakić is the last known living commander of a World War II concentration camp. He was in command of the Jasenovac camp from May to October 1944. Even though at least 2000 Serbian, Jewish, Romani and other prisoners died in this period, the indictment did not include charges of genocide. Before the trial was closed after two months of court hearings, Mr Šakić claimed in his final statement before the court that he was "convicted before the process started." RFE/RL reported on September 30 that Mr Šakić believed the trial was politically motivated and influenced by international pressure on Croatia. Following the verdict, defence attorneys said they would appeal to the Croatian Supreme Court. According to Yugoslav weekly Nedeljne informativne novine (NIN) of October 7, Mr Ĺ akić was being held in Zagreb.

(NIN, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)


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