Veselin Vlahovic, a former Bosnian Serb paramilitary dubbed the “Monster of Grbavica”, was jailed on Friday for 45 years for inflicting a reign of terror on Sarajevo civilians during the 1992-95 war.

“During systematic repression against the non-Serb population he participated in expulsion of his victims, he committed murders, he tortured, raped and imprisoned his victims,” judge Zoran Bozic said at the sentencing in a packed Sarajevo courtroom.

The sentence against Vlahovic, a Montenegrin, is the most severe delivered for war crimes by a Bosnian court.

Vlahovic (43), sentenced on all 60 counts in his indictment, committed the crimes between May and July 1992, in three Sarajevo neighbourhoods controlled by Serb forces — Grbavica, Kovacici and Vraca. “He killed 31 people, took 14 people who have still been considered missing, raped 13 women,” prosecutor Behaija Krnjic said in a closing statement, having said earlier in the trial that Vlahovic’s “name was the synonym for evil”.

Vlahovic was arrested in March 2010 as a suspect in a number of burglaries in the Spanish town of Altea where he was living under a fake Bulgarian identity. — AFP