Jezik / Language:
27 March 2014

Tougher Penalty Urged for Detentions of Sanski Most Bosniaks

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

The Bosnian state prosecution appealed for a five-year jail term for former Serb soldier Predrag Prosic, convicted of illegally imprisoning civilians in 1992, while his defence demanded acquittal.

Prosecutor Dzemla Begovic presented the appeal on Thursday, saying that the initial trial, which saw Prosic jailed for three years, didn’t correctly establish the facts of the case.

Begovic said that the prosecution wants “a reversal of the verdict” – either a retrial or a five-year prison term.

But defence lawyer Svetozar Davidovic said the prosecution’s claims were unfounded and that Prosic should be released or given a more lenient sentence.

In July 2013, Prosic was found guilty of the illegal imprisonment of civilians from the settlements of Muhici, Mahala and Otoka in Sanski Most on May 27, 1992. The court found that Prosic, a former soldier with the Sixth Sana Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army, searched houses and drove out civilians who were then locked up in the centre of Sanski Most.

But he was acquitted of charges of the murder of eight civilians, as well as of participating in the killings of three more civilians.

The defence said that Prosic, as an ordinary soldier, could not know have known what the broader connotations of his actions were.

“Much of the evidence shows that Prosic lived in the area with Muslims, he worked with them. Some say that he even helped Muslims. So where is his motive for a criminal offence? I do not see it,” said Davidovic.

The court will make a decision on the appeals at a later date.
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