A U.S. federal court judge has ruled that Nikola Vuckovic must pay $140 million in restitution to four Bosnians he tortured during the war. 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 nevertheless served. "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 http://www.cja.org/BosniaPR4.29.02.htm
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