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18 February 2016
News

Hague Tribunal Rejects Oric’s Request for an Appeal

Denis Dzidic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The Hague Tribunal rejected former Bosnian Army general Naser Oric’s request to appeal a decision issued by the tribunal. His request to have the proceedings against him at the Bosnian state court discontinued were rejected.


Theodor Meron, the president of the tribunal, refused Oric’s request to be allowed to file an appeal. He said the defense “has not demonstrated the decision contained an incorrect interpretation of the law.”

Oric’s attorneys filed a request to discontinue the proceedings against him at the Bosnian state court for war crimes committed in the Bratunac and Srebrenica area. The defense based its appeal on the grounds that Oric had previously stood trial for the same crimes at the Hague Tribunal. Liu Daqun, a judge with the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals at the Hague, rejected this request in December 2015.

Daqun said that the Hague Tribunal acquitted Oric of charges for command responsibility in Srebrenica. However, Daqun continued, in Bosnia and Herzegovina he was charged with personally killing a person in the village of Zalazje and participating in the murder of two persons in a village near Bratunac with another member of the Bosnian Army. As such, Daqun said, the two were “completely different” cases.

Oric’s defense requested that it be allowed to appeal this decision. The defense pointed to certain irregularities in the work of the prosecutors and claimed that Hague investigators already had all the evidence referring to the case conducted before the Bosnian state court, while the trial before the tribunal was ongoing.

However, in his decision Meron said the defense’s stance still didn’t demonstrate that they were the same or similar crimes.

“While reviewing the motion filed by Oric’s defense, we consider that it does not demonstrate that the decision contained a wrong assessment, because the two cases are substantially different,” Meron said.

In 2008, Oric was acquitted of charges at the Hague. His trial before the Bosnian state court began in late January 2016.

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