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Tomic Backs Down From Djukic’s Trial

21. February 2014.00:00
The Defence of Novak Djukic, who was released from the prison sentence for the wrong application of criminal code, asked for the removal of the Trial chamber and the president of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is why the presentation of appeals were postponed.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

“We ask that this Chamber excuses itself and Meddzida Kreso, who spoke about this case already”, said Milorad Ivosevic, Djukic’s lawyer.

The Appeals chamber was supposed to hear the appeals of Djukic, after the Bosnian Constitutional Court abolished a verdict under which he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for crimes in Tuzla.

Djukic, former Commander of the Tactical group Ozren of the Bosnian Serb army was found guilty of ordering a shelling of Tuzla on May 25, 1995, during which more than 70 people were killed.

Dusko Tomic, Djukic’s lawyer, asked the Court to bring the proceedings back to the beginning.

“If the court only discusses the criminal sanction, we will ask the third member of this Trial chamber to look at the entire case, since he is a new member. Because four years have passed from the original case and we have a new member, we ask this entire case be reopened and we are not ready to present our appeals now”, said Tomic.

Djukic also addressed the Court and said he wanted to help to find the truth about Tuzla for the sake of the families of those killed.

After a brief discussion, the Chamber said they would not discuss the guilt of Djukic, but only the height of his sentence, and rejected the Defence proposal to postpone the hearing, after which Tomic walked out of the courtroom.

“I wish no further part of this. This is legal violence. I want no part of it. I am cancelling my powers and I want out of the courtroom,” said the lawyer Tomic.

Djukic said he felt bad about Tomic, “who invested four years in this case”, and “put his life on the line”.

“I want his country to go on happier. I do not want freedom as a criminal. Do with me what you will, I don’t care if I’m in jail or free. Your move, gentlemen”, said Djukic, who was accompanied with three other lawyers beside Tomic.

After lawyer Ivosevic asked the Chamber and presiding judge Kreso be removed, judge Dragomir Vukoje stopped the hearing, until this matter is decided.

The Bosnian Prosecution said it only objects to the length of punishment Djuic was sentenced to.

Selma Učanbarlić

This post is also available in: Bosnian