JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former Bosnian Army prisoner guard, who now lives in Jacksonville, pleaded guilty Monday to fraudulently procuring U.S. citizenship by failing to disclose his membership and crimes he committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s during the Bosnian Conflict.
The Department of Justice said Slobo Maric, 56, served as a shift leader, the second in command to the warden, of a detention facility in Bosnia that housed captured Bosnian-Croat soldiers.
The DOJ said it was routine for guards at the facility to subject detainees to serious physical abuse and humiliation, including referring to them with ethnic slurs and spitting on them.
The plea agreement states that Maric directly participated in abusing prisoners, selected prisoners for others to abuse and sent prisoners on dangerous and deadly work details.
Maric was charged by the Bosnian government for his criminal conduct, and according to the DOJ, after Maric migrated to the U.S., he was indicted and convicted by Bosnia in absentia for war crimes against prisoners.
Maric reportedly knew of the Bosnian court proceedings yet did not disclose them and lied about his conduct on his U.S. citizenship application.
Maric became a naturalized U.S. citizen on Oct. 31, 2002.
His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.