A U.S. federal
court judge has ruled that Nikola Vuckovic must pay $140
million in restitution to four Bosnians he tortured during
Vuckovic, who served in the Bosnian Serb Army, came to the
U.S. in 1997 as a refugee.
Judge Marvin H. Shoob found that Vuckovic "repeatedly
tortured" each of the plaintiffs, meriting "substantial
punitive damages," according to a statement released by the
Center for Justice and Accountability. Vuckovic did not
appear in court for the trial.
"The witnesses testified about frequent beatings, teeth
pulled out with pliers and heads smashed against walls while
soldiers hurled anti-Muslim abuse. All said they lost about
half their body weight during detention," AP reported.
Kemal Mehinovic acknowledged that it's unlikely the victims
will be able to collect the money, but said justice was
"I brought this case because I felt an obligation towards
those who were killed or tortured by Vuckovic," he told AP.
"I am satisfied with the result. He will no longer be able to
live peacefully in the United States."
The case was brought under two U.S. laws that allows
victims of human rights abuses to sue perpetrators who live
in the U.S.
The Center's statement on the case is posted at