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Court to Decide on Custody for Pekeze’s and Savic

28. November 2013.00:00
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina files a custody order motion for Mirko (son of Spiro) Pekez, Mirko (son of Mile) Pekez and Milorad Savic, who were released from serving their sentence for war crimes, due to a danger that they might flee, influence their accomplices and disturb public order.

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The Defence attorneys of the indictees said that Prosecutor Mirko Lecic’s allegations were unfounded, requesting the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina to reject the custody order motion.
Appellate Chamber Chairman Dragomir Vukoje said that “a written decision will follow”. 
As per a decision by the Constitutional Court of BiH dated October 22 this year, a second instance verdict against Pekez and others was quashed due to wrong application of the criminal law. They were sentenced according to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the Constitutional Court of BiH considers that the Criminal Code of the former Yugoslavia, according to which they could be sentenced to shorter sentences, should have been applied.
As said by Prosecutor Lecic, the indictees have a motive to avoid serving the rest of their sentence by fleeing, because they are aware of the fact that they will be sentenced according to the Criminal Code of the former Yugoslavia. The Prosecutor said that two accomplices against whom a warrant was issued live in Serbia, so they could offer help to Pekezes and Savic.
Lecic said that their release on November 18 this year caused traumas for survivors and families of the killed people.
Nebojsa Pantic, Defence attorney of Savic, said that the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina was unprepared for their release to liberty, which could have been expected following the State Constitutional Court’s decision, quashing the second instance verdicts.
As he said, the indictees were released on November 18, while the custody order motion was filed two days later.
“They were not sure what to do, so they finally made themselves do it. This demonstrates the seriousness of the act,” he said.
Janko Nikolic, Defence attorney of Mirko (son of Spiro) Pekez, said that the allegations about the flight were “pure formality”. 
“They were released ten days ago. Nobody has fled,” he said.
Mirko (son of Mile) Pekez was sentenced to 29 years in prison, Milorad Savic to 21 and Mirko (son of Spiro) Pekez to 14 years in prison for crimes against Bosniak civilians committed in September 1992. They spent six years in prison.
According to Dusko Panic, Defence attorney of Mirko (son of Mile) Pekez, this was a legal gap, which was not “foreseen in the system”.
“Legal gaps cannot be considered to the detriment of indictees,” Panic said.
He said that his client had nowhere to flee and that he did not posses dual citizenship. Speaking about the disturbance of public order, he said that this was “a forced inducement of custody reason”.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian