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24 January 2014
News

Verdict against Andrun on January 30

Selma Ucanbarlic BIRN BiH Sarajevo
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina proposes to the Court to sentence Nikola Andrun, whose trial has been renewed due to wrong application of law, to at least 18 years in prison, while the Defence requests his release.
The presentation of evidence at the retrial of Andru before the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, has been completed. Andrun was released from prison, where he was serving his sentence, because his verdict for crimes committed in Capljina was quashed due to wrong application of law. The pronouncement of a verdict is scheduled for Thursday, January 30.

The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina said that it stuck to its closing statement presented during the previous trial, proposing to the Trial Chamber to sentence the indictee to at least 18 years in prison.

Presenting its closing statement, the Defence proposed to the Court to acquit Andrun of charges, because the Prosecution had not proved the allegations contained in the indictment.

“In case the Court still considers that there are elements of crime here, we think that the sentence should be shorter than the time my client has already spent, serving his sentence in prison,” Defence attorney Drazen Zubak said.

In October 2013 the Constitutional Court of BiH quashed the second instance verdict against Andrun due to wrong application of law. He was sentenced in accordance with the Criminal Code of BiH, but, in its decision the Constitutional Court of BiH said that his sentence could have been shorter had he been tried according to the Criminal Code of the former Yugoslavia.

The second instance verdict against Andrun was pronounced in August 2008. Under the verdict, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for having committed war crimes against the civilian population in Gabela detention camp, Capljina municipality. The former Deputy Manager of Gabela detention camp was sentenced for having participated in the murder, torture and inhumane treatment of detained civilians during 1993.

The Defence said that, when rendering its decision, the Trial Chamber should consider the fact that Andrun behaved in a correct manner before the Court and that he was a family man - a father of four.

“While serving his sentence, he behaved in an exemplary manner and executed all orders and suggestions by the Prison Office,” the Defence attorney said.

Although the Trial Chamber said that it would not decide about the indictee’s guilt at this retrial, but only about the sentence pronounced against him, the Defence touched upon the evidence about indictee’s guilt, while presenting its closing statement.

The Defence pointed out that the Prosecution of BiH had not proved that Andrun was Deputy Manager of Gabela detention camp and that the documents, which were used to prove that, were not made by relevant institutions.

According to what he said, several counts indicate that the indictee committed the torture of detainees in Gabela detention camp in collaboration with Marinko Maric, against whom the Prosecution has filed an indictment, but it has not charged Maric with those crimes.

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