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13 June 2013
News

Bosnian Serb Acquitted of Srebrenica Genocide

Marija Tausan BIRN BiH Sarajevo
Former Bosnian Serb officer Momir Pelemis was acquitted on appeal of involvement in the murders of at least 1,000 Bosniaks from Srebrenica in 1995.
The appeals chamber of the court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday acquitted Pelemis of genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995.

Pelemis had been sentenced to 16 years in jail in October 2011 for war crimes committed while he was deputy commander of the First Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade of the Bosnian Serb army.

However, the appeals chamber concluded that he did not establish control and supervision over members of the First Battalion, which guarded prisoners in the village of Pilica, in the Zvornik municipality, where around 1,800 prisoners were executed on July 16, 1995.

“Pelemis was at a command post far from Pilica. He had no direct knowledge nor was he informed about the events,” said presiding judge Mirko Bozovic.

The court ruled that Pelemis learned that prisoners would be brought in from Srebrenica just before their arrival.

“Slavko Peric, the security officer in the First Battalion, was in the field. The evidence does not indicate that Peric consulted or informed Pelemis about anything,”explained Bozovic.

Peric, the deputy commander of the First Battalion in charge of security, was sentenced to 11 years of prison for aiding genocide.

The appeals chamber decided that there was no evidence that Pelemis was in contact with other members of the joint criminal enterprise involved in the genocide, such as senior Bosnian Serb Army officers.

The chamber also did not accept charges that Pelemis aided the executions by acquiring fuel and ammunition.
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