US Seeks Denaturalization of 2 Convicted Bosnian Muslim War Criminals
The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday asked courts to denaturalize two Bosnian Muslims who have been convicted in their native country of carrying out an execution-style massacre of Croatian villagers during the Balkan wars.Edin Dzeko, 46, and Sammy Rasema Yetisen, 45, both alleged former members of an elite Bosnian military unit responsible for carrying out the 1993 attack that killed 22 civilians, are accused of hiding their crimes on their refugee, permanent resident and citizenship applications.Yetisen came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1996 and became a citizen in 2002. Dzeko was admitted as a refugee in 2001 and naturalized in 2006.The pair's involvement in the "Trusina massacre" came to light in 2011 when the U.S. extradited them to Bosnia to stand trial for war crimes. A court in Bosnia later found that Dzeko and Yetisen were part of a special forces unit that participated "in a well-prepared and planned attack" on the village of Trusina, executing six unarmed prisoners of war and civilians, according to the complaint. Yetisen later shot each of the six again to make sure they were dead."In addition to his participation in the firing squad, Dzeko also killed a crippled elderly man, and then shot the man's wife in the back, killing her because she would not stop crying," the Justice Department statement said.Yetisen was convicted of war crimes in 2012 and sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison. She returned to Oregon, where she currently lives, after serving her prison term.Dzeko was convicted and sentenced in 2014. He is serving his sentence in Bosnia."War criminals will find no safe haven or shelter within the United States," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. "We will be steadfast as we investigate and prosecute human rights violators, torturers and war criminals. This is especially true for those who fraudulently obtain U.S. citizenship."Last month, a Bosnian Serb living in North Carolina was sentenced to 18 months in prison for lying about his military service and involvement in war crimes on his permanent resident application.