A federal judge in Florida sentenced a former Bosnian soldier to prison and stripped him of his U.S. citizenship following his conviction for lying on his naturalization application. The former soldier left an indictment and conviction for war crimes off of his application for U.S. citizenship.
Slobo Maric, 56, served in a detention facility in Bosnia that incarcerated Bosnian-Croat prisoners of war. The Bosnian government charged him with criminal conduct following the war. He emigrated from Bosnia following the filing of charges, according to information revived by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
Subsequent to his resettling in the U.S. Bosnian indicted and convicted Maric in absentia for war crimes against prisoners during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The plea agreement stated that Maric served as a shift leader (second in command to the warden) in a detention facility in Bosnia. Many of the guards “routinely subjected detainees to serious physical abuse and humiliation,” ICE Homeland Security Investigations officials stated. He selected detainees and assigned other guards to abuse them. The guards would frequently abuse the prisoners with ethnic slurs, and by spitting on them, Department of Justice officials said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.
He also directly participated in the abuse of several prisoners and would routinely assign prisoners to “dangerous and deadly work details” on the front line of the battlefield.
In the plea agreement, Maric admitted to knowing about the Bosnian court proceedings. He further admitted to leaving that information out of his application for citizenship. Without that information, immigration officials approved his citizenship application, and he became a U.S. citizen on October 31, 2002.
HSI agents worked with other agents from ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC to investigate the case against Meric.
“Homeland Security Investigation’s unique transnational investigative authorities helped ensure the horrific crimes he committed are not erased because he fled to another country,” special agent in charge of HSI Tampa Susan L. McCormick said in a written statement. “Protecting the legal immigration system is an important aspect of safeguarding our national security.”
Over the past fifteen years, ICE investigators arrested nearly four hundred people for human rights-related violations of the law under criminal and immigration statutes. Additionally, ICE agents deported nearly eight hundred known or suspected human rights violators, officials explained.