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16 October 2015
News

Cantonal Court of Novi Travnik Turns Down Velagic Case, Declares Itself Not Competent

Kenan Kavazović BIRN BiH Travnik

The cantonal court of Novi Travnik said it was not the competent court to process the case of two former members of the Bosnian Army charged with war crimes in Bugojno.

Prior to today’s decision, cantonal prosecutor Ahmed Mesic said the Bosnian state court had previously declared that the territorially competent court should handle the case.

“This isn’t a complex case that should be processed by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Mesic said.

Muhko and Safet Velagic have been charged with war crimes committed in Bugojno. They have been charged with committing war crimes against prisoners of war in late July 1993.

Muhko Velagic’s defense didn’t object to the jurisdiction of the cantonal court of Novi Travnik, acceding to prosecutor Mesic’s stand.

Safet Velagic’s defense didn’t want to express its opinion regarding the jurisdiction of the case.

“The prosecution has not prepared for the proceedings in a serious and timely manner, thus misleading both the court and defense,” defense attorney Adil Lozo said.

Following a brief discussion, the trial chamber, chaired by Mehmedalija Huseinovic, came to its decision and declared the court not competent for the case.

According to the State Strategy for Processing War Crime Cases, decisions on the referral of cases to entity judicial bodies are made by either the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina or the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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