The Appeals Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has jailed Samir Kesmer and Mirsad Menzilovic for six years each for raping a minor in Sarajevo in 1993.
The Appeals Chamber of the State Court in Bosnia has jailed two former former Bosnian Army members, following a retrial, for six years each, for raping a protected witness who was a minor at the time, in 1993.
It also ordered Samir Kesmer and Mirsad Menzilovic to pay KM 30,000 to Witness A in compensation for non-material damage.
“The court determined that … Kesmer and Menzilovic beat and insulted minor A on the grounds of her ethnicity and raped her, while threatening her with murder, in a building in Sarajevo,” the verdict said.
In its explanation, it said witnesses who knew about the rape of minor A, as well as the material evidence and medical documentation of the injured party, confirmed the charge of rape.
“Minor A described the act of rape itself … The differences between statements, which the defence teams were trying to show, were not big enough to call her testimony into question. Many witnesses spoke about the rape and their testimonies were in agreement and compatible with the injured party’s testimony,” the Chamber explained.
When deciding the sentence, the Chamber said it had considered the brutality and ruthlessness of the crime, as well as the fact that the injured party was underage, as aggravating circumstances.
As for mitigating circumstances, the Chamber said it had considered the fact that the two defendants were young adults at the time.
The trial was renewed after the Appeals Chamber quashed the first-instance verdict of July 2018, sentencing them to five years each.
Under the first-instance verdict, Elvir Muminovic was sentenced to six years in prison, but the proceedings against him were later separated due to his flight from justice. The parties may not appeal.