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Bosnian Serb Police Commander’s Genocide Acquittal Upheld

29. November 2018.11:02
Appeals judges confirmed the acquittal of the former commander of the Bosnian Serb Interior Ministry’s special police brigade, Goran Saric, clearing him of involvement in the Srebrenica genocide in 1995. The appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court has rejected a prosecution appeal as unfounded and confirmed the verdict that found former special police brigade commander Goran Saric not guilty of involvement in the genocide of Bosniaks from Srebrenica in July 1995, BIRN has learned.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The verdict was handed down on November 23 but was not made public.

“Just like in the first-instance judgement, the appeals chamber finds it was correctly determined that the attack on Srebrenica was conducted and that [Bosnian Serb] Ministry of Internal Affairs units, of which the defendant was a member, participated in that attack, among others,” the appeals verdict said.

“However, the disputable issue that had to be resolved was whether the defendant himself, by providing members of the special police brigade and supervising them, took part in that attack. That has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt,” it added.

The first-instance verdict in February this year acquitted Saric of issuing instructions for massacres, and cleared him 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 a joint criminal enterprise in committing genocide, and of committing war crimes in the Zvornik area.

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

The verdict is final and cannot be appealed.

Emina Dizdarević

This post is also available in: Bosnian