Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Bosnian court trims sentence for U.S. embassy gunman to 15 years

A Bosnian appeals court trimmed the prison sentence given to an Islamist gunman after he apologized for opening fire on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo in 2011, seriously wounding a police officer. The court cut Mevlid Jasarevic’s sentence from 18 years to 15, citing mitigating circumstances such as the fact that he was not part of a criminal group. Jasarevic, being re-tried for the attack, had last week apologized for firing on the embassy for more than 40 minutes, calling it a “stupid act”. He appeared in court clean-shaven and wearing a white shirt and jeans, instead of with the long Islamist beard and traditional robe and skullcap he had before. The attack by Jasarevic, a Muslim originally from neighboring Serbia who recently said he had distanced himself from the strict Wahhabi form of Islam, had revived debate over the threat of radical Islam in the Balkans. His previous conviction was overturned in July after judges ruled the original trial was flawed. Defense lawyers had argued they did not have access to witness testimony and evidence.


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