Serb refugee in USA sentenced to two years in prison

Serb refugee Slobodan Mutic, who has lived in the United States since 1999, was sentenced on Wednesday by a court in Ohio to two years in prison for lying in his immigration documents that he did not breach any laws and for denying involvement in genocide or an ethnic cleansing campaign.

After he serves his sentence, he will be deported to Croatia which wants him on war crimes charges, US media said.

Prosecutors said that the 53-year-old Mutic concealed that in 1992, when he was a member of rebel Serb paramilitary forces, he had participated in the murder of a dentist couple who were believed to be connected with the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cronin said that Mutic had lied, saying that he, too, had been persecuted.

After he serves his two-year prison sentence, Mutic will be deported to Croatia where he is expected to face a trial for the murder of Stjepan and Paula Cindric and the murder of his former girlfriend Aleksandra Zivkovic, the portal reported.

Cronin said that Mutic and Dragan Perencevic robbed and killed the Cindrics who worked as dentists in Petrinja, eastern Croatia, because they believed that the Cindrics were members of the HDZ. He added that Mutic was believed to have killed Aleksandra Zivkovic by shooting her in the head in 1993 after she broke up with him.

Upon arriving in the USA in 1999, Mutic applied for refugee status. He lied in his immigration documents that he was never indicted or imprisoned for violating the law and that he was not involved in acts of genocide.

Several years later, after he applied for a permanent residence permit, Homeland Security found out that Croatia had issued a warrant for his arrest.

Mutic admitted to having lied in his immigration documents and to his involvement in the said murders, according to Cronin.

Mutic has lived in Akron, a suburb of Barberton since 1999. He is married with two children, aged 15 and 18.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25

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