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Josip Relota Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison

6. October 2015.00:00
The cantonal court of Novi Travnik sentenced Josip Relota to 11 years in prison for crimes against civilians in Busovaca.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Relota, a former member of the Nikola Subic Zrinjski Brigade of the Croatian Defense Council, was found guilty of opening fire on four civilians in a house in the Luka settlement in late January, 1993. Relota was allegedly accompanied by two other soldiers. After having left the house, Relota and the other perpetrators threw an explosive device at the civilians. Three Bosniak civilians were killed, while a protected witness known as B-1 managed to survive.
Trial chamber chair Mehmedalija Huseinovic said the verdict was based on B-1’s testimony and other statements that confirmed his story.
“It is undisputedly concluded that the eyewitness provided essential elements of testimony, identical to those presented at the Hague in 1998. Bearing in mind the quality of this evidence, the trial chamber believes the decision should be based upon it,” Huseinovic said.

He said the defense wasn’t convincing in its attempt to demonstrate that the identify of the perpetrator had been mistaken and that Relota had been on the frontline in Donje Polje during his alleged crimes.
Huseinovic said B-1 clearly and precisely identified Relota. He said the testimony of Relota’s brother was unreliable.
“Three people were killed, and the intent is undeniable. A sentence of 11 years is appropriate bearing in mind the court’s practice,” Huseinovic said.
Both parties have the right to appeal the verdict before the Supreme Court of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kenan Kavazović

This post is also available in: Bosnian