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Court will Wait for Djukic until September 22

4. September 2014.00:00
The defence of Novak Djukic, convicted of ordering a deadly Bosnian Serb artillery strike on Tuzla, staged a reconstruction of the attack in a bid to prove his innocence.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Djukic’s defence on Thursday reenacted the 1995 attack on the Bosnian town’s downtown area, Tuzlanska Kapija, but the convicted war criminal did not attend because he has left the country for Serbia.

One of his lawyers, Dusko Tomic, said the reconstruction proved that “anything but a grenade” fell on the town on May 25, 1995, when 71 people were killed.

Djukic’s defence plans to submit the results of the reconstruction the Bosnian court along with a request for a retrial.

But the court has already rejected a request for a retrial, and has ordered Djukic to go to Foca prison on September 22 in order to serve his sentence.

It is unclear whether Djukic has absconded permanently, but his lawyer confirmed that he was seeing doctors in Serbia.

“Djukic is having medical treatment until further notice. He did not attend the reconstruction,” Tomic said.

The former commander of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Ozren Tactical Group, Djukic was found guilty of ordering an artillery squad to shell Tuzla. He was jailed for 20 years in June, after a legal error saw his original sentence of 25 years overturned.

During his trial, he denied being responsible for the attack that killed 71 people and injured 150 more.

“I condemn all war crimes, especially this war crime at Tuzlanska Kapija. I feel sorry that those innocent people were killed. I am not the cause of that outcome,” he told the court.

If Djukic fails to appear to serve his sentence in Foca, he cannot be extradited to Bosnia and Herzegovina, because he has Serbian citizenship and the two countries do not have an extradition agreement.  

But he could be jailed in Serbia, which signed an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2010 that prevents convicts whose final verdict has been handed down from avoiding serving their sentences by fleeing to the neighbouring country.

Amer Jahić

This post is also available in: Bosnian