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2 March 2016
News

State Prosecution Requests Repeal of Ilija Juric Verdict

Dragana Erjavec BIRN BiH Sarajevo
The state prosecution has called upon the state court to repeal a verdict which acquits Ilija Juric of charges of crimes committed against civilians in the Odzak area in 1992.
Prosecutor Miroslav Janjic asked the court to repeal the acquittal and order a retrial before the appeals chamber. Janjic said the factual status was incorrectly determined and criminal proceedings were violated during the first instance trial.

“In its explanation of the verdict, the first instance chamber indicated that it had not trusted prosecution witness Milica Djekic and disregarded the testimony of Ljubica Lesic and Risto Maric, which led to the violation of the proceedings, as well as the incorrectly determined factual status,” Janjic explained.

Janjic also said the prosecution didn’t understand why the first instance chamber decided not to trust those witnesses. He said their testimony was sufficient to find Juric guilty.

In November 2015, the state court acquitted Juric, a former member of the Croatian Defense Council, of charges that he committed crimes against civilians in the Odzak area in 1992.

Among other points, the first instance verdict states that the state prosecution failed to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Juric is responsible for the sexual abuse and physical mistreatment of civilians.

Juric’s defense attorney, Borislav Pisarevic, asked the court to reject the prosecution’s appeal as unfounded. He said there was no reason to repeal the first instance verdict.

The appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court will render a decision at a later stage.
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