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Significantly Shorter Sentences for Kravica Crimes Requested

23. January 2014.00:00
The Defence of five indictees, who were released after the verdicts against them for assisting in the Srebrenica genocide was quashed, request the Court to reduce their sentence to between five and 15 years, while the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina requests maximal imprisonment sentences.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

After the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, had determined that the Criminal Code of BiH had been wrongly applied in a certain number of cases and quashed second instance verdicts in those cases, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina discontinued the execution of sentences against Slobodan Jakovljevic, Aleksandar Radovanovic, Branislav Medan, Brane Dzinic and Milenko Trifunovic on November 18.

They were originally sentenced to between 28 and 33 years in prison for having assisted in the commission of genocide in Srebrenica.

Rade Golic, Defence attorney of indictee Trifunovic, told the Appellate Chamber of the Court of BiH that his client did not know about a plan for execution of captives in Kravica and that his alleged managerial function, which, in his opinion, was insignificant, was taken into consideration as an aggravating circumstance.

“On the basis of witnesses’ statements, one can conclude that he is a positive man, father of four, who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Golic said, adding, among other things, that his client expressed regret due to the sad events and that he behaved in an excellent manner during the course of the proceedings.

Defence attorney Suzana Tomanovic proposed that her client Brane Dzinic be sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison and that the Appellate Chamber accept her request to re-examine witness S-4.

“After having served his six-year prison, S-4 sent a letter, indicating that all he said at the previous trial was incorrect and that he gave a false testimony, because he was forced to do it,” Tomanovic said.

The Prosecution objected to this proposal, because it considered that it referred to the factual status, not the duration and type of the criminal and legal sanction, which was the subject of this hearing. The Chamber accepted the objection.

Radovanovic’s Defence attorney Dragan Gotovac echoed Defence attorney Tomanovic’s allegations, adding that his client had a family to take care of.

Slavko Asceric, Defence attorney of indictee Slobodan Jakovljevic, pointed to a fact, which was mentioned during the previous trial, that his client was behind the hangar and that he did not shoot.

Also, he said that he stuck to what was said in the appeal against the first instance verdict, adding that his client was a family man, who expressed respect towards the Chamber and witnesses.

Just like the previous attorneys, Medan’s Defence attorney Borislav Jamina said that he expected a maximum of 15-year imprisonment sentence to be pronounced against his client, because the 20-year sentence was an alternative for death penalty in case of gravest crimes.

“He objected to going to Srebrenica, but this was not considered a mitigating circumstance, at least not when determining the sanction,” Jamina said.

Prosecutor Ibro Bulic said that he expected maximum sentences to be pronounced.

The Appellate Chamber will render a decision at a later stage.

Besides this case, the Constitutional Court discontinued the execution of sentences against eight other war crimes and genocide convicts due to wrong application of law.

Džana Brkanić

This post is also available in: Bosnian