Bosnia Acquits Serb Police Commander of Srebrenica Genocide

16. February 2018.12:24
Former special police commander Goran Saric was acquitted of involvement in genocide in Srebrenica in 1995 as the court ruled he was not necessarily aware of the plan to murder the town’s Bosniak population.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The state court in Sarajevo on Friday cleared Goran Saric, a former commander of the Bosnian Serb Interior Ministry’s special police brigade, of involvement in genocide in July 1995.

“On the basis of pieces of evidence presented, the court has not been able to determine, beyond reasonable doubt, that the defendant knew about the genocidal intention of the main perpetrators,” said presiding judge Stanisa Gluhajic.

Gluhajic said that the prosecution had not been able to prove the counts in the indictment which charged Saric with having been aware of the existence of a plan for killing the Bosniak population of Srebrenica.

The judge also said it was not apparent from the evidence that Saric had interacted with the participants in the joint criminal enterprise aimed at expelling and killing Bosniaks from Srebrenica, Bosnian Serb military and political leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.

Saric was acquitted on charges of issuing instructions for the massacres, and cleared of exercising control over his deputy Ljubomir Borovcanin, who the Hague Tribunal sentenced to 17 years in prison for crimes in Srebrenica.

The court said there was no evidence that Saric issued any type of orders to Borovcanin or lower-ranking chiefs of the special police brigade.

Borovcanin was freed in 2016 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

Saric was also found not guilty of assisting members of the joint criminal enterprise in committing genocide, which resulted in more than 7,000 deaths and around 40,000 people being displaced.

He was further acquitted of committing war crimes in the Zvornik area.

According to the court, there is no evidence that the defendant saw the Srebrenica captives or the Bosniaks who were killed.

The trial of Saric has lasted around four years.

The verdict can be appealed.

Lamija Grebo

This post is also available in: Bosnian