Truck driver Dragan Paravinja was sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment in a repeated trial at Split County Court on Tuesday for the attempted rape and subsequent murder of teenager Antonija Bilic in June 2011.
The retrial was held after in October 2015 the Supreme Court quashed the guilty verdict and 40-year imprisonment, explaining that it did not question the accuracy of the claim that Paravinja killed the 17-year-old girl, but that the Sibenik court did not provide enough evidence to corroborate the claim that attempted rape preceded the killing.
Antonia Bilic was last seen on Cikola Bridge in Drnis on the morning of 7 June 2011 entering a truck driven by the convicted rapist Paravinja. Two weeks after her disappearance, the police located the truck, and found evidence such as hair and blood which confirmed that the 17-year-old girl had been in that vehicle. A search was immediately launched to locate Paravinja but he had already fled the country.
Upon his arrest in Bosnia on 26 June 2011 he confessed to the police in Banja Luka that he had strangled the underage girl from the town of Kricke near Drnis and dumped her body into the River Krka. He then denied his confession before the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying that his statement was extorted with beatings. The remains of the victim were unearthed near a truck stop in Josipdol, 260 kilometres away from Drnis.
In December 2011, the East Sarajevo District Court sentenced Paravinja to two years and ten months in jail for rape committed in 2002. Paravinja has also been convicted of rape in Serbia where he was given four years and five months in prison.