Jezik / Language:
10 March 2015

Exemption of Judge Requested, Peljto Retrial Terminated

Mirsad Arnautovic BIRN BiH Brcko

At the start of the Mensur Peljto retrial, the defense requested that the chairman of the trial chamber be exempted from the trial. As a result, the retrial was terminated, pending a decision from the Basic Court of the Brcko District.

Peljto has been charged with the torture and inhumane treatment of Serb prisoners of war.

Defense attorney Faruk Balijagic called for the exemption of Muhamed Avdic, the chairman of the trial chamber. According to Balijagic, Avdic’s impartiality in the case was questionable.

Balijagic also requested that the state prosecution assign the Peljto case to another prosecution office, on the grounds that the district prosecution of Brcko didn’t obtain permission to handle the case.

At the beginning of the hearing, Balijagic asked that the trial be terminated, and said that the assumptions upon which the trial was initiated were faulty. Judge Avdic did not accept this request.

Afterwards, the indictment was read.

“Your honor, I understood the allegations in the indictment and I completely deny them, since they are not accurate,” Peljto said.

Although the examination of four witnesses was planned for this hearing, the trial was terminated due to the defense’s request for the exemption of judge Avdic.

The president of the Basic Court of the Brcko District will decide how to proceed.

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