Bosniaks’ Convictions for Detention Camp Abuses Quashed

15. Jula 2019.12:51
The Bosnian state court quashed the verdict convicting Mustafa Djelilovic and Halid Covic of crimes against Serb and Croat civilians who were illegally held in wartime detention camps in the Hadzici area.

The appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court has upheld an appeal by Mustafa Djelilovic and Halid Covic against their convictions for crimes against Serb and Croat civilians illegally detained at the Silos camp, the Krupa barracks and the 9th of May elementary school in the Hadzici municipality.

Their verdicts have been quashed and a new trial ordered.

“This morning we received a decision issued by the appeals chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, quashing the verdict and upholding the appeals filed by the prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and two defence teams, namely the defense of Mustafa Djelilovic and Halid Covic,” lawyer Lejla Covic, who is representing Halid Covic in the case, told BIRN on Monday.

In July last year, after a six-year trial, the state court sentenced eight defendants including Djelilovic and Covic to a total of 60 years in prison for crimes committed at the wartime detention facilities between 1992 and 1996.

They were found guilty of illegally detaining the civilians and holding them in poor conditions.

The court found that some prisoners were beaten, humiliated and forced to do hard labour while detained.

Djelilovic, the head of the wartime presidency of the Hadzici municipality, was sentenced to ten years in prison, while Covic, the deputy warden at the Silos camp, was sentenced to six years.

But all the defendants were acquitted of crimes against prisoners of war as the court found that all the people detained in the three detention centres were civilians.

Emina Dizdarević