Sinisa Djurdjic

A Bosnian refugee, Sinisa Djurdjic, living in Tucson, was convicted earlier this month by a federal jury on charges of Visa Fraud and Attempted Unlawful Procurement of Citizenship. The guilty verdicts came after a nine-day jury trial.

According to the Department of Justice, in 2009, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) launched an investigation upon receiving a roster of a police brigade suspected of various atrocities during the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (“Bosnia”) that identified one of the members of that brigade as Sinisa Djurdjic, who emigrated to Tucson under the United States refugee program in 2000. HSI discovered that, on various United States immigration applications, Djurdjic had denied serving in foreign military and police units. The multi-year international investigation by HSI confirmed that Djurdjic was indeed a member of that police brigade and other Bosnian-Serb military units, and that Djurdjic harmed prisoners in his custody.

HSI agents traveled to Bosnia on multiple occasions, interviewed dozens of witnesses, and collected documentation from the Bosnian government, the Serbian government, and from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Agents discovered that Djurdjic was a prison guard at two prison camps established north of Sarajevo by “Republika Srpska,” the Bosnian-Serb entity which espoused the idea of “ethnic cleansing” during the civil war and sought to exclude all Bosnian Muslims and Catholic Croats from certain areas within Bosnia.

During the trial, five Bosnian men who were held at the prison camps testified as to the abuses they suffered or witnessed at the hands of Djurdjic. The United States presented extensive documentation demonstrating that Djurdjic had lied on various immigration applications about his previous military and police service, and had intentionally misled United States immigration officials about his past to gain legal status in the United States.

Djurdjic’s sentencing hearing is set for August 8, 2023.

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