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13 October 2011
News

Local Justice - Ahmetasevic: First Instance Verdict Appeals Presented

BIRN BiH
The Prosecution calls on the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to pronounce a longer imprisonment against Senad Ahmetasevic, whom the Cantonal Court in Bihac sentenced to eight years in prison for crimes in Velika Kladusa, while the Defence proposes to the Court to revoke the first instance verdict.

During a hearing at which the Prosecution and Defence explained their appeals to the first instance verdict against Ahmetasevic the Prosecution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, FBIH called on the Court to uphold the appeal filed by the Bihac Cantonal Prosecution and pronounce a longer sentence against the indictee, while indictee Ahmetasevic and his Defence attorney Drasko Zec asked the Court to revoke the first instance verdict.

The Defence proposed that the trial be held before the Supreme Court of FBiH or that the mentioned Court pronounce shorter sentence. The Trial Chamber of the Supreme Court, which is composed of Chair Vjekoslav Lovric and members Malik Hadziomeragic and Nidzara Zlotrg, will render its decision at a later stage.

The first instance verdict pronounced by the Bihac Cantonal Court on May 20 this year was read at this hearing prior to the explanation of the appeals. In May this year the Cantonal Court in Bihac sentenced Ahmetasevic to eight years in prison for war crimes in the Omica brdo region, Velika Kladusa municipality.

Under the first instance verdict, Ahmetasevic was pronounced guilty of killing a prisoner of war, member of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, in November 1993. According to that verdict, Ahmetasevic, former member of the National Defence of the Western Bosnia Autonomous Region, fired several bullets, without any reason, at prisoner of war Hasan Saric, causing him deadly injuries.

Vlado Miskovic, Prosecutor with the Prosecution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, called on the Court to pronounce a longer sentence against the indictee and reject the appeal filed by the indictee and his Defence attorney as unfounded.

“We consider that the sentence pronounced by the Cantonal Court cannot achieve the purpose of punishment, given the level of his guilt. All witnesses – eyewitnesses – pointed to the indictee as the perpetrator of this crime,” Miskovic said.


Indictee Ahmetasevic and his Defence attorney Drasko Zec appealed the first instance verdict due to a wrongly and incompletely determined factual status and substantive violations of the Criminal Proceedings Code.

“The Bihac Cantonal Court did not conduct a detailed analysis of all the witnesses' statements, which contain significant differences in relation to the murder of Hasan Saric. The verdict is based on unlawful evidence, considering the fact that the witnesses identified the indictee on the basis of his photo published in newspapers,” Defence attorney Zec said.

Ahmetasevic was arrested in the Netherlands in November 2008. Following the arrest, he was extradited to judicial authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A.S.

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