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23 October 2009
News

Stipe Zulj: An Isolated Act of Violence

BIRN BiH
The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina accepts the proposal made by the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Defence to refer the Stipe Zulj case to the Cantonal Court in Livno for further processing. 
Stipe Zulj, a former member of special police forces with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the former Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, has been referred to the Cantonal Court in Livno for further processing "for the sake of cost-efficiency and due to the fact that the case is not a complex one".

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed the motion, requesting the Court to refer the case to the Cantonal Court, with the indictment. The Defence supported the motion. The State Prosecution filed the indictment against Zulj on October 1, 2009, for the unlawful wounding and killing of an enemy soldier in the Kupres area. The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed the indictment four days later. 

Citing the reasons for its case referral motion, the Prosecution said the case did not pertain to "a mass or systematic crime", also stating that the State Court and its Prosecution did not have sufficient capacity or staff to complete the trial quickly and efficiently.

"The Defence fully accords and joins the Prosecution's proposal. We accept all reasons mentioned by the Prosecution," Branka Praljak, Defence attorney of the indictee, said.

The Prosecution's motion states that the crime of which Zulj is charged represents "an isolated act of violence", adding that the Cantonal Court in Livno was capable of conducting "complete, qualitative and efficient criminal proceedings".

Zulj is charged with having killed a soldier, "who had previously surrendered", and taken 50 German marks from his pocket, during the attack by the Croatian Defence Council, HVO, on Kupres on November 3, 1994.

Zulj was arrested on September 8, 2009. Before his arrest he was working as an active policeman in Kupres. The Court ordered him into custody on September 10.
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