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Stupar: Retrial to Begin in March

22. February 2010.15:13
At a status conference the Appellate Chamber announced that statements given by 26 witnesses who testified about Stupar at the first instance trial will be heard during the retrial.

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“We will accept the Defence’s proposal to examine witness Radoslav Stuparevic in court,” Appellate Chamber Chairwoman Azra Miletic said.

In July 2008 Stupar was sentenced, as former Commander of the Second Special Police squad, to 40 years in prison for genocide in Srebrenica. In the first instance verdict the Trial Chamber determined that it had not been proved that the indictee “knew that his men would commit the crime, but it has been proved that he found out about it later, but he failed to take any action to punish them”.

Stupar and ten other members of the Second Squad and Republika Srpska Army were tried for the murder of more than 1,000 Srebrenica residents in Kravica Agricultural Cooperative, Bratunac municipality, on July 13, 1995.

Petar Mitrovic, Slobodan Jakovljevic and Branislav Medan were sentenced, by a second instance verdict, to 28 years in prison. Brano Dzinic and Aleksandar Radovanovic were sentenced to 32 years and Milenko Trifunovic to 33 years. Milovan Matic, Miladin Stevanovic, Velibor Maksimovic and Dragisa Zivanovic were acquitted.

In October 2009 the Appellate Chamber upheld the appeal filed by Milos Stupar’s Defence and overturned the part of the first instance verdict referring to him. It ordered a retrial, because “criminal procedure was violated, which led to a doubt about the correctness of determined facts”.

“This trial will only cover the part of the verdict which was overturned,” Azra Miletic said. “Stupar was found guilty on the basis of his command responsibility. The Defence filed an appeal pertaining to this part of the verdict. The Prosecution did not file an appeal. Therefore, this trial will not be based on the original indictment, because Stupar was not found guilty of having participated in the crime, together with the others.”

In its appeal the Defence said that the first instance verdict was “incomprehensible and contradictory in itself”. It said it was unclear whether Stupar was found guilty of being an accomplice to genocide or a co-participant in genocide – “which is contradictory to the concept of command responsibility, of which he was also found guilty”.

This post is also available in: Bosnian (Bosnian)