Jezik / Language:
11 April 2014

Popovic Sentenced to Five Years

Boris Sekulic BIRN BiH Bijeljina

The District Court in Bijeljina sentences Velimir Popovic, known as Vela, to five years in prison for having committed physical and mental mistreatment of prisoners of war in Stari and Novi Ugljevik detention camps in 1992.

Indictees Ostoja Minic and Oliver Rodic, known as Oliva, were acquitted of charges.  

The Trial Chamber determined that many witnesses identified Popovic during the main trial and confirmed that he abused detainees.

“In the period from May to June 1992, in his capacity as member of military police of the Republika Srpska Army, and acting in collaboration with other members of that unit… Popovic entered the premises, where detainees were held, and hit them with his hands, legs and rubber stick, forced them to perform fellatio and urinate on each other,” Trial Chamber Chairman Mensur Djonlic said.   

The Chamber determined that, on the basis of presented evidence, one could see that Ostoja Minic neither ordered nor committed the crimes charged upon him under the indictment.

“The charges against Oliver Rodic are based on statements given by two witnesses, whose presence at the main trial could not be ensured, while other witnesses were not able to confirm that he participated in the mentioned event. Hence, there are no grounds for pronouncing any sentence,” the Chamber explained.  

The parties have the right to appeal the first instance verdict with the Supreme Court of Republika Srpska.

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