Bosnia court jails Islamist for 45 years over bomb attack

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 20, 2013 11:19 AM

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Bosnia's state court sentenced an Islamist radical to 45 years in prison on Friday for a 2010 bomb attack on a police station in which one officer was killed and several injured.

It was the longest sentence handed down in Bosnia for an offence other than a war crime.

Haris Causevic planned, organized and carried out a terrorist act in the central town of Bugojno on June 27 2010, aiming to intimidate the population, coerce the authorities and destabilize the country, said presiding judge Goran Radevic.

"The Council of Judges has decided to jail Haris Causevic to a maximum prison term of 45 years to express the public condemnation of the act he committed," said Radevic.

Naser Palislamovic, accused along with Causevic over the attack, was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Causevic planted an improvised explosive device by the back wall of the police station which was detonated by slow fuse in the early hours. He was caught running away.

Six men were originally charged with the crime, three of them under terrorism laws. Three others were accused of assisting the attack but their trial has been delayed.

One of the three accused of terrorism made a deal with the prosecution to testify against Causevic and was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2012.

All six men were members of the strict Wahhabi branch of Islam, which gained a foothold in Bosnia after its 1992-95 war.

The bombing was one of the most serious security incidents in Bosnia since the war.

Last month, Bosnia's appeals court jailed for 15 years an Islamist gunman who fired on the U.S. embassy in 2011, seriously wounding a police officer.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Andrew Roche)