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18 March 2014
News

Verdict against the Damjanovic Brothers Confirmed

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, confirms a verdict under which Goran and Zoran Damjanovic were sentenced to a total of 12-and-a-half years in prison for having committed war crimes against the civilian population in the Sarajevo area.

On December 13, 2013 the Damjanovics, former members of the Republika Srpska Army, were found guilty of having beaten between 20 and 30 captured Bosniaks in Bojnik, near Sarajevo, on June 2, 1992, acting in collaboration with other soldiers. The verdict says that the beating lasted between one and three hours. They beat the captives with rifles, batons, legs and hands.

The Court of BiH previously sentenced the Damjanovic brothers to 11 and ten-and-a-half years in prison for this crime. After the European Court in Strasbourg had determined that the Criminal Code of the former Yugoslavia should have been applied instead of the Criminal Code of BiH, their trial was renewed.

Applying the European Court’s decision, the Court of BiH reduced the sentence against each of the Damjanovic brothers by four-and-a-half years and sentenced Goran Damjanovic to six-and-a-half and Zoran to six years in prison.

The Prosecution of BiH appealed this verdict, requesting the Court to pronounce longer sentences against the Damjanovics. While the Defence teams called for shorter sentences.

“The Appellate Chamber held a session at which the Prosecutor and Defence presented their allegations contained in the appeal and response to the appeal. After that the Appellate Chamber reviewed the appealed verdict within the framework of the objections and reasons contained in the appeal and rendered the second instance verdict,” the Court’s announcement says. 
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