NEW YORK -- Six Croatian terrorists convicted of a racketeering charges involving murder, arson, bombings and extortion were sentenced Wednesday to jail terms ranging from 20 to 40 years.
Judge Constance Baker Motley described the six men as 'political terrorists' and sentenced them to stiff prison terms in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
The six were convicted in May of federal racketeering charges. The government said they were members of Otpor, an anti-communist Croatian nationalist group dedicated to achieving independence for Croatia from Yugoslavia.
Prosecutors said the defendants carried out killings, bombings and arson attacks on their political opponents in this country. They were also convicted of extorting money from Croatian exiles in the United States to finance their activities.
The government said the attacks were directed from a headquarters in Chicago with branches in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities. Otpor itself was not charged with any crimes.
Ante Ljubas, of Chicago, described by the goverment as the 'field general' of the organization, was sentenced to 40 years in jail, as was Ranko Primorac, of Long Beach, Calif.
Mile Markic and Milan Bagaric, both of Chicago, received 30 years. The remaining defendants, Vinko Logarusic, of Cleveland, and Drago Sudar, of Toronto, received 20 years in jail.
'None of us are secure if acts of murder, arson and extortion go unpunished,' the judge said in imposing sentence.