Former Bosnian prison guard jailed, stripped of U.S. citizenship

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Slobo Maric, 56, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Monday after it was discovered that he had been a prison guard in the Bosnian Army and had failed to disclose this incriminating information when applying for U.S. citizenship.

A judge ordered that his citizenship be revoked after Maric pleaded guilty in July of 2016 to one count of unlawful procurement of naturalization, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

Maric, who had been living in Jacksonville, Florida, committed heinous crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian Conflict in the 1990s, according to Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida.

From the Department of Justice press release:

According to the plea agreement, “[I]n 1993, Maric served as a shift leader, the second in command to the warden, of a detention facility in Bosnia that housed captured Bosnian-Croat soldiers. Many of the guards in the facility routinely subjected detainees to serious physical abuse and humiliation. According to the plea agreement, Maric selected detainees for other guards to abuse; directly participated in abusing several prisoners; and sent prisoners on dangerous and deadly work details on the front line of the conflict.

The Bosnian government charged Maric for his criminal conduct and, after Maric immigrated to the United States, Bosnia indicted and convicted Maric in absentia for war crimes against prisoners. According to the plea agreement, Maric knew about the Bosnian court proceedings, yet he failed to disclose the proceedings and lied about his conduct on his application for U.S. citizenship. Maric became a naturalized U.S. citizen on Oct. 31, 2002.

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