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Bosnia Court Confirms Six-Year Sentence for Rogatica Crimes

23. August 2019.12:09
The crimes were committed in eastern Bosnia during a wave of ethnic cleansing by Bosnian Serb forces at the start of the 1992-95 war.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

The Appeals Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has confirmed a verdict under which Bosnian Serb former soldier Zdravko Lubarda was sentenced to six years for participation in the persecution of Bosniak civilians in the eastern Rogatica area and former police reservist Ozren Planojevic was acquitted.

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced on Friday it rejected the appeals filed by the State Prosecution and Lubarda’s defense as unfounded and confirmed the first instance verdict passed down by the Bosnian State Court on December 24 last year.

Under the first instance verdict, Lubarda was found guilty, as a former member of the Bosnian Serb Army, VRS, of having committed a crime against humanity. Planojevic, a former member of the reserve police forces, was acquitted of the charges.

In a separate case, the Appeals Chamber cut from 10 years to five the prison sentence handed down in September 2018 against Bosnian Serb former soldier Petar Tasic for crimes against civilians in the eastern Visegrad area while fellow former soldier Momir Tasic had his 14-year sentence confirmed.

Under the first instance verdict, Petar Tasic was found guilty of removing Bosniak civilians while Momir Tasic was convicted of the forcible disappearance of civilians and rape.

“After holding a session, the Chamber of the Appeals Section with the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina passed down a verdict, rejecting an appeal filed by the defense of defendant Momir Tasic as unfounded and partially upholding an appeal filed by the defense attorney of Petar Tasic and sentencing him to five years’ imprisonment,” the State Court said. “The Chamber confirmed the remaining part of the first instance verdict,” it added.

In the same case, a third man, Mirko Tasic, a former member of the Public Safety Station in Visegrad, was acquitted of the charges in the first instance, but the Prosecution did not appeal that part of the verdict so it became final in 2018.

Momir, Petar and Mirko Tasic were charged with having participated, in June 1992, in the forced disappearance of six Bosniak victims, whom they arrested, tortured and abused, and then took in the direction of the western Serbian town of Uzice, after which they went missing without trace.

Mirko and Momir Tasic were also charged with having raped two Bosniak persons.

All the verdicts passed down by the Appeals Section are final and may not be appealed.

Albina Sorguč

This post is also available in: Bosnian