Thursday, 4:30 PM
Bosnian immigrant guilty of two counts in immigration fraud case
By Megan Tench, Globe Staff
A federal jury today found a Bosnian immigrant guilty of two counts of lying on immigration documents that concealed his role in the slaying of 1,200 unarmed Muslim men and boys in a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Marko Boskic, 41, an ethnic Croat and Roman Catholic who had been living in Peabody, is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 24.
The 12-member jury deliberated for about eight hours before convicting the construction worker of lying about his military service on his green card and refugee form.
The jury found Boskic not guilty on the three other charges. They ruled that he did not lie on two other portions of the immigration forms or in an interview with federal officials during which he was questioned about his military service.
Federal prosecutors described Boskic as cold blooded executioner who in 1995 massacred Muslims in the war-torn Balkans and then lied on U.S. immigration documents so he could live in the United States.
Boskic's defense Lawyer said his client was forced to participate in the massacre after he was captured and put in a concentration camp by the Bosnian Serb Army. Attorney Max Stern said during the trial that Boskic did not intentionally lie on the immigration papers, but instead misunderstood officials.
A survivor of the massacre, Ahmo Hasic, 70, testified during the trial that bullets whizzed past him that day in 1995. Hasic, however, did not identify Boskic as one of the men who fired an automatic rifle at the unarmed Muslims. Hasic said he escaped by falling down and pretending he had been shot.
In August 2004, Boskic was working in construction and living in Peabody when he was arrested and charged with lying on his refugee application and on his application to become a permanent U.S. resident.
US District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock told the jury to only decide whether or not Boskic lied on his immigration forms, despite testimony from an array of witnesses that included federal agents, historians and survivors of the infamous massacre at Branjevo Farm.
Boskic was approved to enter the United States as a refugee in 2000 and has had several violent scrapes with the law in this country. Since moving to Peabody in 2003, Boskic has been charged with 10 counts of assault in four court cases, half of which involved a dangerous weapon.
Jurors did not hear details about Boskic recent legal history, but instead listened to details from his time in the Bosnian war.