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Press Release

Barberton man who participated in ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia sentenced to prison, to be deported

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A Barberton man was sentenced to two years in prison for lying on his immigration documents by failing to disclose his role in the ethnically motivated murder of a Croatian couple during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Marlon Miller, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio.

Slobodan Mutic, 53, is expected to be deported upon completion of his sentence to Croatia, where he will stand trial for human-rights violations.

Mutic, a former soldier of the now-defunct rogue state Republika Serbian Krajina, pleaded guilty last year to one count of knowingly and willingly possessing a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Form I-94, knowing it to be forged, counterfeited, altered, falsely made or to be have been procured by means of a false claim or statement.

"Our nation welcomes refugees, not human rights criminals,” Dettelbach said. “This defendant lied his way into this nation and does not deserve the privileges and freedoms this great nation offers. It is now up the legal system to ensure that he will be held to account for any of his actions in a proper court once he is returned to his home country."

“Today’s sentencing is another step toward Mr. Mutic’s removal from the United States,” Miller said. “This case underscores HSI’s commitment to ensuring that the United States is not perceived as a haven for individuals who have committed horrendous war crimes in their home countries.”

Mutic possessed a Form I-94 in 2012 that he fraudulently procured. Mutic, on or about August 2001, falsely claimed “no” when filling out immigration forms that asked if he had ever “been arrested, cited, charged, indicted, fined or imprisoned for breaking any law or ordinance…” and again when asked if he had “ever engaged in any genocide, otherwise ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in the killing of any person because of race, religion, nationality ethnic origin or political opinion,” according to court documents.

Those answers were false. Mutic was arrested, detained for a month and questioned by local law enforcement about the murder of Stjepan and Paula Cindric. The answers also contradicted statements he made during a January 8, 1992 interview that were memorialized in an affidavit that Mutic signed, according to court documents.

In that affidavit, Mutic admitted to his participation in the murder of the Cindric family along with accomplice Dragan Perencevic. Mutic and Perencevic targeted the Cindrics because of their ethnicity. Mutic is also wanted for other crimes in Croatia, including the murder of Aleksandra Zivkovic, according to court documents.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Cronin and Karrie Howard following an investigation by Homeland Security Special Agent Timothy Stark and Homeland Security’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center historian Michael MacQueen.

Updated February 4, 2016