Father of former Miss Oregon pleads guilty to lying about army service in Bosnian civil war

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Father of former Miss Oregon pleads guilty

PORTLAND, Ore. — The father of a former Miss Oregon has pleaded guilty to lying about his army service during the Bosnian civil war when he applied for asylum in the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave Atkinson said Thursday that authorities will likely initiate deportation proceedings against Milenko Krstic, 53, of Beaverton.

Atkinson said it remains unclear how Krstic’s conviction will affect the immigration status of his daughter, Danijela Krstic. She was crowned Miss Oregon in June 2008 and later competed for Miss America, performing a belly dance in the talent portion of the contest.

The Oregonian reported that Milenko Krstic wore an American flag pin on the lapel of his suit at Wednesday’s court hearing in Portland. He acknowledged failing to disclose that he had lived for five years in Zvornik, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he was a member of a unit that reportedly took part in the slaughter of unarmed Muslim prisoners.

Public defender Chris Schatz said no evidence was ever uncovered that Krstic, who served as a clerk, took part in the massacre.

Atkinson said the government has no plans to charge Krstic with any war crimes.

Schatz argued in court filings that his client brought his family to the U.S. to flee the ravages of postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the past dozen years, Krstic has worked hard and been by all accounts a good member of society, he said.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 27.

“He looks forward to telling his life story,” Schatz said.

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