A couple who murdered the wife’s married lover by smashing in his skull with a blunt object have each been sentenced to 40 years in prison.
It is believed they resolved to kill the man when the husband found out about his wife’s affair and they decided it was the only way to save their marriage.
The High Court in the south-western Serbian city of Novi Pazar sentenced Senad and Mubera Muhovic, aged 38 and 36 respectively, to a maximum of 40 years in prison each.
The court handed down the sentences after finding the two guilty of ‘aggravated murder in complicity’ for the death of Mubera’s alleged lover, married dad Anel Papic.
The crime took place near the village of Ponorac on 23rd June 2017.
The court determined that Mubera lured Anel, who hailed from the town of Sjenica, to a woodland area where Senad was lying in wait.
According to the court, after Anel arrived, the couple then meted out the brutal punishment, hitting his head with a blunt object 27 times and inflicting up to 20 fractures to his skull, arm and hand.
The court determined that the couple then dragged him to a nearby bush, doused him in petrol and set him on fire.
His body and vehicle were found two days later, by which time the suspects had fled to Germany with their children.
They turned themselves in to the Serbian judicial authorities at the Horgos border crossing on the Hungary-Serbia border a fortnight later.
Senad presented his defence during the trial, stating that he did not kill Anel and that he was sorry for everything that had happened. His wife chose to remain silent.
Local news reports at the time corroborated Senad’s version of events, stating that he simply watched as his wife carried out the murder.
However, given both defendants received the same sentence, the court clearly believed Senad also participated in the murder to the same degree as his wife.
It is believed the murder was planned after Senad, who was living in Germany at the time, found out about his wife’s affair and followed her to Serbia, where the two had a huge fight.
According to Mubera at the time, she and Anel were not actually lovers and she claimed he was stalking her and the children, which is why she resolved to kill him.
The court appears to have rejected this version of events.
Anel’s father, Ahmo Papic, told reporters following the verdict: “They may one day get out of jail and my son will never come back. My grandchildren were left without a father, my daughter-in-law without a husband.”
The couple has the right to appeal the verdict.