Eight Bosnian Serb Soldiers Cleared of Rogatica Crimes

30. August 2016.13:46
Eight former Bosnian Serb Army troops were acquitted of crimes against humanity including expulsions and murders in the Rogatica area in September 1992. The Bosnian state court on Tuesday acquitted former soldiers Radomir Markovic, Mile Kusic, Dragan Bozovic, Sasa Perkovic, Radomir Gluhovic, Pero Radovic, Ilija Vukasinovic and Milos Vukasinovic of crimes against humanity.

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The court found the eight ex-servicemen not guilty of taking part in expulsions and looting, as well as killing around 20 civilians including women and children in a barn in the village of Karacici in the Rogatica area in September 1992.

Markovic was the commander of the Socici unit of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Rogatica brigade, while the other defendants were members of the unit.

The verdict said that the prosecution only proved during the trial that the defendants were members of Bosnian Serb forces in Rogatica, while the other allegations in the indictment “remained in the domain of assumption”.

Presiding judge Zeljka Marenic said that only two protected witnesses were eyewitnesses to the crime and that the court found their testimonies “uncertain, unreliable, unconvincing and contradictory”.

“There are many important differences in the statements, such as the number of people who took part in the crime, the place where the protected witnesses stood and the location of the barn where the incident took place,” Marenic said.

“Also, one witness claims there were 19 to 20 civilians, while the other says ten to 20 and they give different statements about the ages of the victims,” she added.

She said that even if their testimonies had been accepted, there were still differences between what they said and what the prosecution listed in the charges.

“Regardless of who was actually involved in this operation, not a single witness described the events as they are listed in the incitement,” she said.

The verdict can be appealed.

Emina Dizdarević Tahmiščija

This post is also available in: Bosnian