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Correct and Wrong Conclusions

20. May 2013.00:00
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina calls on the Court to quash its verdict under which Nedjo Ikonic and Goran Markovic were acquitted of charges for genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995, while the Defence of Dusko Jevic and Mendeljev Djuric call for revocation of the part of the verdict that sentenced them for that crime.

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The Prosecution alleges that Ikonic and Markovic were acquitted of responsibility for the crime on the basis of “wrong conclusions” made by the first instance Chamber. At the same time the Defence of Jevic and Djuric consider that their clients were sentenced for having participated in the forcible resettlement and murder of Bosniak men in Kravica on the basis of a wrongly determined factual status.

Jevic was Commander of the Training Centre on Mount Jahorina with the Special Police of Republika Srpska, Djuric was Commander of the First Company, Ikonic was Commander of the Second Company, while Markovic was a Squad Commander.  

“Ikonic’s actions were based on the same knowledge and intentions as Djuric’s and Jevic’s. The Chamber correctly determined that members of the First and Second Company participated in the forcible resettlement of the population, but it excluded Ikonic from the chain of command, which was wrong,” Prosecutor Ibro Bulic said, adding that the indictee was also familiar with the execution plan.

According to the Prosecutor, witnesses have confirmed that Markovic was present at the key locations, from which the population was forcedly resettled and male residents separated, and that he asked for “volunteers to commit murders” later on.

The Prosecution proposed to the Court to confirm the part of the first instance verdict related to Jevic and Djuric, while their Defence teams proposed that the Court either acquit them of charges or order a new trial, because the verdict is unviable.  

Vera Lazic, Defence attorney of Jevic, said that there was no evidence that her client was present on the road, when the men were captured, or in front of the hangar in Kravica, where the executions were committed. Also, she said that he was not familiar with the plan for the execution and resettlement of people.

“The Hague Tribunal’s Chamber said that it was not convinced that Ljubomir Borovcanin knew about the execution plan and that he did not have genocidal intentions. How could Jevic have had such intentions, given the fact that he was a lower-ranking officer than Borovcanin,” Lazic wondered.
Borovcanin, a former member of the special police forces, who commanded the joint police forces during the operation in Srebrenica, was sentenced by The Hague Tribunal to 17 years in prison for crimes against humanity.

Djuric’s Defence attorney Miodrag Stojanovic said that the decision about the evacuation of Bosniaks was rendered at the highest level of the Republika Srpska Army and UNPROFOR and that Djuric had no voice in the decision-making process.

“The verdict says that Djuric is responsible for having been present when members from Jahorina committed the execution of survivors in Kravica in the morning on July 14. None of the witnesses said that he received an order from Djuric or that he was present during the commission of murders,” Stojanovic said.

Nenad Rubez, Ikonic’s Defence attorney, proposed that the Prosecutor’s appeal be rejected, because the Company commanded by his client performed police tasks exclusively.

Veljko Civsa, Defence attorney of Markovic, pointed out that several witnesses confirmed that the indictee performed tasks behind the front lines and that he was frequently seen drunk in his unit’s compound.  

The Appellate Chamber chaired by Mirko Bozovic will render a decision concerning the appeals at a later stage.

Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian