Killers guilty of jail attack on war criminal

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THREE murderers have been convicted of carrying out a revenge attack on a war criminal serving a sentence in Wakefield Prison.

Indrit Krasniqi, 23, Iliyas Khalid, 24, and Quam Ogumbiyi, 29, burst into former Bosnian Serb general-major Radislav Krstic’s cell on D wing last May and slashed him with knives or blades for his involvement in the killing of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica.

The Muslim defendants were each cleared yesterday by a jury at Leeds Crown Court of attempting to murder Krstic but were found guilty of wounding him with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, Khalid and Ogumbiyi unanimously and Krasniqi by a majority of 11-1.

Mr Justice Henriques told the jury the trio, who are all Muslims, will be sentenced on Monday.

The jurors had heard they were serving life but were not the details of their crimes.

Krasniqi, an Albanian national is serving life for the 2005 kidnap and murder of 16-year-old Mary-Ann Leneghan in Reading, Berkshire, and the attempted murder of her friend.

The pair were abducted, bundled into a car and driven to a hotel room where they were drugged, raped and tortured with cigarettes, knives, a metal bar and boiling water.

They were then driven to a park to be shot but one amazingly managed to escape with her life.

The court heard Khalid’s earliest date of release is 2036. He was jailed for life in 2008 under another name, Christopher Braithwaite, for sexually assaulting and killing Stacey Westbury, 23, whose body was found at her home in Fulham, west London in August 2007.

The Old Bailey heard she was alone with her 10-month-old son in his cot when Braithwaite strangled and stabbed her.

Ogumbiyi, a Nigerian, is serving a life sentence for stabbing a man to death on the doorstep of a flat in Haringey, north London in 2003. He was serving a minimum of 14 years and was only transferred to Wakefield prison on May 6, the day before the attack on Krstic.

The former Bosnian Serb soldier was serving a 35-year sentence for aiding and abetting genocide at Srebrenica in 1995 after being transferred to the UK from the Hague following his conviction at the international criminal court.

Krstic was deputy commander of the Drina Corps under Ratko Mladic when their forces were responsible for Europe’s worst civilian massacre since the Second World War.

Julian Goose QC, prosecuting, told the court that Krstic’s background was known within Wakefield Prison to many of the other inmates.

Krstic, who has a false lower right leg, spoke through a Serbian interpreter when he gave evidence in court with four prison officers sitting behind him.

He told the court he thought he was going to die when three prisoners entered his cell on May 7 last year and knocked him to the floor.

He said it was Khalid who slashed his throat but could not identify the other two black men, one who held him while the other cut his face and forehead.

He told the jury he was losing consciousness as the trio left, one of them saying: “He’s finished”.

But another inmate went to his aid and others including officers arrived on the scene. He underwent surgery in hospital and survived the attack.

All three defendants had denied they were involved claiming they were elsewhere on the wing at the time.

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