Bosnia Court Orders Retrial Of U.S. Embassy Attacker

by
Reuters
A Bosnian appeals court revoked on Friday an 18-year jail sentence against an Islamist radical for a 2011 gun attack on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo and ordered a retrial.

Mevlid Jasarevic

A Bosnian appeals court revoked on Friday an 18-year jail sentence against an Islamist radical for a 2011 gun attack on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo and ordered a retrial.

Mevlid Jasarevic, a 24-year-old man originally from neighbouring Serbia, was convicted last December of firing on the embassy building from an automatic rifle.

The attack, in which a police officer was seriously wounded, reignited fears about the threat of radical Islam in the volatile and impoverished Western Balkans.

In its ruling, the court said the original verdict had been marred by "essential violations" of the right to defence, a fair trial and criminal procedure. It did not provide details.

In a homemade video found after the attack, Jasarevic said he had planned to target the embassy as revenge for American wars "against Islam and Muslims across the world".

Around 100,000 people died in Bosnia's 1992-95 war, most of them Muslims at the hands of Bosnian Serb forces.

Though Jasarevic himself was too young to take part in the wars of Yugoslavia's demise in the 1990s, analysts say the turmoil left a region mired in poverty and helped sharpen a sense of religious identity among the feuding groups.