Jezik / Language:
9 May 2007

Radmilo Vukovic Arrested Again

Appeals judges have modified the first instance trial chamber's decision about release from custody.
Radmilo Vukovic, who sentenced to five and a half years' imprisonment by a first instance court verdict, was arrested on Wednesday, 9 May on a Court of BiH warrant.

The Court's Public Relations Office said that the Appeals Chamber had reviewed the decision on Vukovic's release from custody and accepted, on 7 May, the Prosecution appeal and thus decided that Vukovic should remain in custody "for safety of citizens and property".

Vukovic was first arrested in April 2006.

After the Prosecution examined the only two witnesses against Vukovic, he has been defending himself while on bail since 15 February.

The Trial Chamber explained its decision by saying that "the circumstances related to reasons for custody have now changed", in other words. there was no need for the custody to be extended.

The first instance verdict passed on 16 April found the former Bosnian Serb army member guilty of raping of protected witness A a number of times in Foca in summer 1992. After she had managed to escape from this city, the injured party gave birth to a baby boy in February 1993, whom she abandoned shortly after.

When passing the verdict, the Trial Chamber has taken as a mitigating circumstance the fact that Vukovic was a family man with no previous criminal record. The fact that witness A and the indictee had been in a relationship before the war was considered as "a special mitigating circumstance".

Bosnian criminal allow allows for a minimum sentence of ten years' imprisonment for war crimes. However, when the Court takes into consideration some special mitigating circumstances, as was the case here, the sentence can be shorter.

Both sides have appealed the first instance verdict.
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