Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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A.K.A.: "Zenga"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape - Guard at the Celebici prison camp
Number of victims: 3 +
Date of murders: 1992
Date of arrest: May 2, 1996
Date of birth: March 7, 1973
Victims profile: Men and women (prisoners)
Method of murder: ???
Location: Celibici, Bosnia
Status: Sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on November 16, 1998

Esad Landzo

Context: Former Yugoslavia

Judgement place: ICTY (Yugoslavia)

Status: Sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by the ICTY

Position: Guard at the Celebici prison camp


Esad Landzo was born on 7 March 1973. During the war he was a guard at the Celebici prison camp from around May 1992 until December 1992.

Celibici is a village in the Konjic municipality of central Bosnia. Konjic was of strategic interest because it was the site of an arms and munitions factory as well as being an important communications link between Mostar and Sarajevo. Before the war the municipality had a population of around 45’000 inhabitants of which 55% were Muslims, 26% Croats and 15% Serbs.

On 25 June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence from Yugoslavia. In Croatia, fighting broke out during the summer of 1991 between the Yugoslav’s Peoples Army (JNA) and the Croatian armed forces. With the war being protracted in Croatia, it became probable that Bosnia-Herzegovina would also declare itself independent from the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia (FSRY). The Serb Democratic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina (SDS), realising that it could not keep Bosnia-Herzegovina within the FSRY, went on to create a distinct Serb entity within the boundaries of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

On 9 January 1992, the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was proclaimed and subsequently given the new designation of Republika Srpska on 12 August 1992.

On 1st March 1992, the Croatian and Muslim populations declared their independence from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

From end May 1992, armed forces made up of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats attacked and seized control of certain villages in the municipality of Konjic and its surroundings which were populated in the majority by Bosnian Serbs. The attackers expelled the Serb residents by force from their houses and held them in detention centres. The majority of the men and some of the women were marched off to camps previously held by the JNA in Celibici. Here, these prisoners were murdered, tortured, subjected to sexual violence, beaten up and, in general terms, subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment. The majority of the detainees were imprisoned at Celibici from around May 1992 until about October 1992, although some of them were held until December 1992.

Esad Landzo took advantage of his position as camp guard to mete out ill treatment to the detainees. He also abused his position by committing murder and by practicing torture and cruel treatment.

Legal procedure:

Esad Landzo was arrested by the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina on 2 May 1996. He was transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on 13 June 1996.

He appeared before the court for the first time on 18 June 1996 and pleaded not guilty to the 24 counts with which he was charged.

On 16 November 1998, the First Trial Chamber found him guilty on 17 counts and sentenced him to 15 years in prison on the basis of his individual responsibility (Art. 7 § 1 ICTY Statute) for:

- violations of the laws and customs of war (Art. 3 ICTY Statute): murder, cruel treatment, torture and pillage;
- serious breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (Art. 2 ICTY Statute): wilful murder, torture, wilfully causing intense suffering or of inflicting serious bodily injury, and inhumane treatment.

On 20 February 2001, the Appeals Chamber threw out the charges related to the violations of the laws and customs of war (Art. 3 ICTY Statute) on the grounds that these were cumulative convictions (Art. 2 ICTY Statute and Art. 3 ICTY Statute) In effect, if the offence is one and the same, it cannot be judged on the basis of two different articles. In the case in point, the accused should have only been judged with respect to the single Art. 2 of the Statute of the ICTY. Since this rectification could have an influence over the length of the sentence, the case was therefore sent back to the First Trial Chamber for further review.

On 9 October 2001, Esad Landzo’s sentence was reviewed and maintained at 15 years imprisonment.

On 8 April 2003, the Appeals Chamber rejected his appeal against this conviction.

Esad Landzo was transferred to Finland on 9 July 2003 to serve out the rest of his sentence.



MO: Raped/killed Serbs in concentration camp.

DISPOSITION: 15 years on three murder counts, 1998.


Esad Landzo with security guard



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