U.S. Attorney Sally Qullian Yates announced that Mladen Mitrovic, 52, of Loganville, Ga. was arranged Monday in federal court on charges that he falsely obtained his naturalized citizenship. He allegedly failed to disclose his work as a Serbian concentration camp guard.
“The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues to work with officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina to locate concentration camp guards who emigrated under false pretenses to the United States after the Bosnian War,” Yates said in a press release. “This defendant will now have to face many of the former Bosnian Muslim prisoners who suffered at his hand in the Trnopolje Concentration Camp.”
Officials said the case against Mitrovic originated from a tip from Homeland Security Investigators.
“HSI special agents in Atlanta, working on a tip from our agents in Portland, Ore., were able to identify Mr. Mitrovic as a potential human rights violator responsible for the alleged abuse and torture of Muslims and Catholics at the Trnopolje Concentration Camp,” Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Atlanta said in the release. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has shown great expertise in their aggressive prosecution of suspects accused of committing human rights violations abroad before immigrating to the United States under false pretenses.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, Mitrovic, a Bosnian native, applied to be naturalized as a United States citizen on Oct. 3, 2002. In his naturalization application, Mitrovic allegedly failed to disclose that as a guard at a Serbian concentration camp during the Bosnian War, he persecuted people because of their religion, national origin, and membership in a particular social group.
A federal grand jury indicted Mitrovic on Sept. 19. He was released on bond Monday. Officials said the charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Deportation would be automatic on completion of the prison sentence.
It is noted that these are charges and do not constitute a conviction. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U. S. Attorney William G. Traynor is prosecuting the case.