Vukovic and Tomic: Defence Asks Judge to Recuse Himself

6. April 2011.13:50
The presentation of appeals of the verdict against Radomir Vukovic and Zoran Tomic has been postponed because the Defence has asked judge Hilmo Vucinic, a member of the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to recuse himself.

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The trial has been postponed until the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina makes a decision on the Defence request.

“The Defence of the first and second indictee filed a request asking that judge Hilmo Vucinic recuse himself on Monday, April 4,” said Petko Pavlovic, Defence attorney for Tomic. He did not specify the reasons for the request.

In April 2010, Vukovic and Tomic were pronounced guilty of assisting in the commission of genocide. They were both sentenced to 31 years in prison.

The first instance verdict determined that Vukovic and Tomic, former members of the Second Special Police Squad from Sekovici, participated in the murder of about 1,000 Bosniak prisoners in Kravica Agricultural Cooperative on July 13, 1995.

Appeals to the verdict were then filed, and the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina will decide upon these appeals once the recusal motion has been decided upon.

At a status conference held in November 2008, the Defence of Radomir Vukovic requested the recusal of the Trial Chamber, chaired by judge Senadin Bektasevic. At the time the Defence explained that the request was made because “the same Trial Chamber was in session in another case, which had an almost identical factual and legal background, and rendered a convicting verdict”.

The Defence’s proposal was not approved, so the same Trial Chamber rendered the first instance verdict.

The trial of Vukovic and Tomic began in December 2008. The two indictees are held in custody. Vukovic was ordered into custody in August 2008, after he was extradited from Serbia to Bosnian judicial authorities. Tomic has been held in custody since June 2008.

Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian