Jezik / Language:
20 November 2013

Custody for Ten Former Convicts Requested

Mirna Buljugić BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina files custody order motions for ten former war-crimes and genocide convicts, who were released by the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and allowed to defend themselves while at liberty. They were sentenced to between 14 and 33 years in prison.

As said in the State Prosecution’s announcement, the custody order motions were filed due to a danger of flight, a fear that the individuals whose guilt was proved under second instance verdicts may go into hiding, and the possibility that victims’ and local communities might be upset.
The following persons, who were sentenced for genocide in Srebrenica, have been released to liberty are: Slobodan Jakovljevic (sentenced to 28 years in prison), Aleksandar Radovanovic (32), Branislav Medan (28), Brane Dzinic (32), Milenko Trifunovic (33) and Petar Mitrovic (28).
Milorad Savic was sentenced to 21 years, Mirko (son of Spiro) Pekez to 14 and Mirko (son of Mile) Pekez to 29 years for having committed war crimes in Jajce municipality.
Nikola Andrun, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for war crimes committed in Gabela detention camp, near Capljina, has also been released to liberty.
The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina rendered the decision to release them to liberty after the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina had quashed the second instance verdicts against them due to the wrong application of the law.
The announcement says that the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is dissatisfied with the Constitutional Court’s decision, which disables the efficient criminal prosecution of war crimes perpetrators by the Prosecution. 
“This situation will have a negative effect on the dynamics of war-crimes processing, because prosecutors will be burdened by working on the mentioned cases,” the announcement says.
Acting on appeals filed by war-crimes convicts and in accordance with a ruling by the European Court for Human Rights in the case of Maktouf and Damjanovic, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina rendered decisions, obliging the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina to apply the provisions of the law, which was in effect when the crimes were committed, instead of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina according to which they were sentenced.

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