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Bosnian gang sentenced after string of crimes

November 28, 2013

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — A Bosnian court sentenced Thursday a criminal gang leader to 40 years in prison for a string of mafia-style murders and organizing a 1.2 million euro ($1.6 million) euro bank transfer robbery.

Judge Izo Tankic sentenced ring-leader Zijad Turkovic after his conviction Thursday. Two of the murders he was convicted of included shooting a former associate and his Colombian girlfriend in the head.

His hit-man, Milenko Lakic, was also sentenced to 40 years for murder and organized crime.

Three other gang members received lighter sentences ranging from three to 12 years.

The sentences were the toughest ever handed down to a criminal gang, according to prosecution spokesman Boris Grubisic who called the gang “the most dangerous criminal organization in post- war Bosnia.”

Witnesses who testified against the group included former gang members who detailed five of the killings. The witnesses said those killed either knew too much or hindered Turkovic’s activities.

During the trial, Turkovic stood up and asked one of his former gang members whether anyone else could confirm his accusations. The witness replied: “No. You killed everybody else.”

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