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Prosecution Requests Reconsideration of Constitutional Court’s Decision

1. December 2014.00:00
The Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, requests the reconsideration of a decision made by the Constitutional Court of BiH, partially quashing a verdict, under which Ratko Dronjak was sentenced to 18 years in prison for crimes in Drvar, because, as it explained, one of the judges, who participated in quashing the verdict, used to be the indictee’s Defence attorney.

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Considering the fact that the Prosecution filed this request to the Constitutional Court on November 28, it requested the Court of BiH at the hearing today to postpone the Appellate Chamber’s session at which appeals related to the partial quashing of the verdict due to wrong application of the law were due to be presented.

Prosecutor Dzemila Begovic proposed that the Appellate Chamber’s session be postpone until the Constitutional Court had reconsidered its decision.

Defence attorney Slobodan Peric said that he did not object to postponement of the Appellate Chamber’s session, but he requested the Court to release Ratko Dronjak to liberty until the completion of the process.

The Appellate Chamber of the Court of BiH did not accept this proposal. Chamber Chairman Tihomir Lukes said that the Constitutional Court did not question the sentence in the part of the verdict referring to crimes against humanity.

The Constitutional Court of BiH quashed the part of the verdict, under which Dronjak was sentenced for war crimes against prisoners of war, because he was sentence according to the Criminal Code of BiH. The Constitutional Court of BiH determined that the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia should have been applied as it was more favourable to the perpetrator.

In addition to crimes against prisoners of war, the Appellate Chamber of the Court of BiH also found Dronjak guilty of crimes against humanity.
Under the first instance verdict, Dronjak was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Appellate Chamber increased the sentence to 18 years.

He was found guilty, as former Manager of detention facilities in Drvar, of having participated in the establishment and functioning of a system for abuse of civilians and captured members of the Army of BiH, and Croatian Defence Council, HVO, in the “Slavko Rodic” school building and Kamenica detention camp.

Detainees, who were held in inhumane conditions, were beaten up on a daily basis. Forty-five of them did not survive.

The Appellate Chamber of the Court of BiH postponed the hearing for 60 days, to February 1.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian