Bosnian Serb Battalion Chief Convicted of Assisting Genocide

11. October 2018.11:29
Former Bosnian Serb battalion commander Ostoja Stanisic was sentenced to five years in prison for assisting the commission of genocide of Bosniaks from Srebrenica in July 1995. The appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court on Thursday upheld the conviction of Ostoja Stanisic, the former commander of the Sixth Battalion of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Zvornik Brigade, but reduced his sentence from 11 to five years.

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Stanisic was found guilty of having knowingly provided assistance to members of the Bosnian Serb Army and police force who had a plan to exterminate Bosniaks from the UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica in 1995.

The verdict established that on July 14 and 15, 1995, members of the Sixth Battalion, who were under the defendant’s supervision, participated in receiving and guarding several hundred male captives from Srebrenica, who were held in a school building in the village of Petkovci in the Zvornik area.

The captives were beaten and at least 20 of them were killed.

The verdict further established that more than 700 captives were then shot dead at a dam in Petkovci.

The however found that the prosecution had not proved the existence of an agreement between the defendant and the perpetrators about concealing evidence of the murders.

“The defendant engaged members of the Sixth Battalion to guard the captives in front of the school building, although it is not disputed that they were guarded by other Bosnian Serb Army members as well,” said presiding judge Mirko Bozovic.

“The chamber also determined that Stanisic knew about the murder plan, but it was unable to determine whether he shared genocidal intent with the perpetrators,” Bozovic added.

Explaining the length of the sentence, Bozovic said that mitigating circumstances included the fact that the defendant has never been convicted before, has a family, and is old and in deteriorating health.

Stanisic was originally charged together with Marko Milosevic, deputy commander of the Sixth Battalion of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Zvornik Brigade, who has already been acquitted under a second-instance verdict handed down by the appeals chamber.

The Stanisic verdict cannot be appealed.

Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian