Jezik / Language:
14 June 2006

Samardzic: Prosecution launches appeal

The first instance judgement that sentenced Nedjo Samardzic to 12 years' imprisonment - and rejected many counts of the indictment - is criticised by the prosecution
More than two months after Nedjo Samardzic was sentenced to 12 years in prison, the prosecution has filed an appeal against the trial chamber's decision to drop six of the indictment ten counts.

Prosecutor Behaija Krnjic stated that he is dissatisfied with the April 7 decision and with the length of the sentence passed - 12 years, with one further year for failing to complete a previous prison sentence handed down in 1992.

In the war crimes indictment against him, Samardzic was charged with multiple rapes of women and girls in the Foca area, the beating, murder and forced expulsion of Bosniak civilians, and putting women into sexual slavery.

After both sides presented evidence, which mostly took place behind closed doors, the trial chamber chaired by Judge Zorica Gogala accepted the prosecution's evidence on four counts.

Therefore,Samardzic was pronounced guilty for forcing women and girls to have sex in Karamanova kuca, a women's detainment camp. Two minors were among the victims,one of who was 12 and the other 15 years old.

The court also accepted that Samardzic was guilty of crimes committed against the Grbo and Sofic families the nearby village of Rataje.

But the rest of the counts of the indictment were rejected because, as the trial chamber stated during the handing of the judgement, "the prosecution was not successful in proving the responsibility of the indictee beyond a reasonable doubt".

The counts of the indictment that alleged that Samardzic was guilty of the expulsion of Bosniaks from Miljevina, and of transferring them to the Partizan sports hall in Foca where they were exposed to abuse and robbery, were rejected.

The court also believed that the prosecution had not offered enough evidence to prove Samardzic's responsibility for the abuse and rape of three women, one of whom was a minor, and that the indictee and others had beaten and abused detained Bosniaks in front of the police station in Foca. According to the indictment,the abused civilians were taken to location Sljivovice, where they were later killed.

Also, the part of the indictment which claimed that, in June 1992 in the village of Sovic,Samardzic and a group of soldiers beat and raped one woman, and alleged that the indictee also took another woman to a hotel where she was raped on multiple occasions in a seven-day period, was rejected.

The first instance judgement handed to Samardzic is the second one pronounced by the Bosnian court's War Crimes Chamber. The punishment - as well as the rejection of some of the counts of the indictment - caused multiple public protests, including one organised by the Women Victims of War group.

The appeal will be considered by the Appellate council.
comments powered by Disqus