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Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty for Serb War Crimes Suspects With AM-Yugoslavia

March 26, 1993

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ Prosecutors requested the death penalty for two Serb war crimes suspects Friday, saying the alleged massacres and gang rapes ″cannot be tolerated anywhere in this world.″

″The only logicial punishment is execution,″ said prosecutor Ljubomir Lukic in closing arguments. ″They don’t deserve to be among us.″

Final arguments are scheduled Saturday by lawyers defending Borislav Herak and Sretko Damjanovic in the first war crimes trial of Bosnia’s year-old ethnic war. The Bosnian government says more than 130,000 people have been killed or are missing.

Herak, 22, has confessed to killing 30 war prisoners and civilians, including a dozen captive Muslim women who first were gang raped. Damjanovic, 31, claims he was beaten into falsely confessing the five murders and two rapes.

The trial, which began March 12 before a five-man military tribunal, included detailed accounts by Herak about mass killings and rapes.

One of the charges against both soldiers is genocide, based on allegations that some of their civilian victims were killed during ″ethnic cleansing″ operations aimed at eliminating Muslims from Serb-dominated villages.

″Being in the army gave him (Herak) a sense of power,″ he said. ″What he did to those girls - the word ‘rape’ is too mild.″

Lukic said there were moments - while listening to Herak’s first confessions in November - he was so horrified he felt like killing the soldier himself.

″Those who are doing the same, anywhere else, have to know that this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere in this world.″

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