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23 September 2015
News

Prosecution Appeals Lavrnic Acquittal at Supreme Court

Albina Sorguč BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been has been ask to repeal Ratko Lavrnic’s acquittal. Lavrnic, who was accused of war crimes in Kljuc, says he was on the battlefield when his alleged crimes were committed.

Prosecutor Munib Halilovic stuck to the allegations made in his written appeal while addressing the court. He said in the absence of direct eye-witnesses, the first instance court failed to assess all of the indirect evidence presented in the trial. Halilovic asked the court to repeal the verdict and order a retrial at the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The first instance verdict was handed down on July 7, 2014 by the cantonal court of Bihac. It was the second time Lavrnic had been acquitted of war crimes against the civilian population in Kljuc in 1993.

Lavrnic, a former member of the 17th Kljucka Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, was acquitted of charges that he killed Fatima Risovic, Hata Risovic and Ramiza Adzemovic and wounded Ejub Cenanovic on February 10, 1993.

The original verdict which found Lavrnic not guilty was handed down on October 24, 2012. However, the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina repealed the verdict and ordered a retrial at the cantonal court of Bihac.

Cvijetin Adamovic, Lavrnic’s defense attorney, called on the court to reject the prosecution’s appeal as unfounded. Adamovic said his client was on the battlefield when his alleged crimes took place, and there was no material evidence to prove Lavrnic’s involvement.

Adamovic said the prosecution had offered a series of unlawful and indirect evidence during the course of the proceedings.

The court will render a decision at a later stage.


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