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10 February 2016
News

Prosecution Refuses to Change Legal Classification in Karajic Case

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Although the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina repealed the verdict in the Suljo Karajic case due to the incorrect application of law, the state prosecution is sticking to its previous legal classification of his crimes. Karajic was sentenced to 18 years in prison for crimes committed in Krajina.

Prosecutor Vesna Ilic told the appeals chamber that she would stick to the same legal classification, because “it is time to point out that the Constitutional Court can make a mistake as well.”

Karajic’s defense didn’t want to comment or add anything to the constitutional court’s decision, which requires the state court to apply the provisions of the Criminal Code of the former Yugoslavia in the case. This code was in effect when Karajic’s crimes were committed and provide more favourable sentencing for perpetrators.

Applying the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the state court initially sentenced Karajic for the murder, abuse and unlawful detention of civilians and members of the National Defense of the Western Bosnia Autonomous Region. He was found guilty of committing crimes against prisoners of war and the civilian population.

After this verdict was handed down, Karajic’s defense filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which determined that the provisions of the more favourable law should have been applied.

The appeals chamber will render its decision at a later stage.

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