The Bosnian prosecution said former reservist policeman Mico Jurisic, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for committing crimes against humanity against non-Serb civilians in the Prijedor area in 1992, deserved a tougher punishment.
The prosecution in Sarajevo on Monday appealed against the verdict sentencing Mico Jurisic, a former member of the Tukovi reservist police force at the police’s Public Security Station in Prijedor, to 11 years in prison for crimes against humanity, including involvement in several murders, in the Prijedor area in 1992.
Prosecutor Izet Odobasic argued that the evidence was not considered carefully enough and requested a partial revocation of the judgment, a new trial and a longer sentence.
Jurisic was convicted in a first-instance verdict in April this year on five counts of persecution, murder, attempted murder and inhumane treatment. Under the same verdict, he was acquitted on three counts of persecution, abuse and murder.
But Odobasic said that the court wrongly assessed some of the mitigating circumstances.
He argued that the fact that the defendant had a family at the time at which the crime was committed could not be considered a mitigating circumstance, because he was on trial for a crime against humanity.
“The defendant actually committed most of the crimes against family members of other people, particularly minors,” he told the Bosnian state court.
“We consider it incorrect to consider the fact that he had no prior convictions as a mitigating circumstance. It is unacceptable to assess these circumstances as mitigating ones,” he added.
But defence lawyer Svetozar Davidovic argued that Jurisic should be acquitted on appeal, or given a shorter sentence, arguing that the first-instance verdict only contained “general reasons for direct premeditation”.
Defendant Jurisic also addressed the court, insisting that he did not commit any of the crimes.
“I have not done wrong to anybody, I have not even thought of doing it,” said Jurisic, who was in tears.
The court’s appeals chamber will deliver its ruling at a later stage.