Republika Srpska Rocket Attack Defendant Awaits Retrial

11. February 2021.10:16
The retrial of Aleksandar Radic, who is accused of firing a rocket-propelled grenade at a business centre in Banja Luka, is due to start soon after the original verdict convicting him was quashed.

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Banja Luka, archive. Photo: BIRN BiH

The retrial of Aleksandar Radic at the Basic Court in Banja Luka is due to start soon after the District Court in Banja Luka quashed a verdict sentencing him to two years in prison for endangering the public and the illicit production and trafficking of arms or explosive substances.

Radic was found guilty of firing a rocket-propelled grenade at the Agram business centre in Banja Luka on March 30, 2018.

The District Court told BIRN Bosnia and Herzegovina that the defendant and his lawyer appealed against the verdict because they claimed there had been substantial violations of the criminal process, the facts had been incorrectly established and sentence was incorrectly set.

They urged the court to acquit Radic, quash the verdict and send the case back to the first-instance court for a new decision.

The prosecution also appealed, calling for a longer sentence.

“The District Court in Banja Luka, deciding on the appeals that were filed, has decided to uphold the appeals filed by defendant A.R. and his defence lawyer, quashing the verdict handed down by the Basic Court in Banja Luka and referring the case back to that court for a new decision,” the District Court said.

Radic was originally suspected of terrorism. When the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office took the case over from the District Public Prosecution in Banja Luka, its claimed that the attack caused distress to the public and some political and party officials, and that the security situation in Banja Luka was disrupted.

“There were grounds for a suspicion that this criminal offence fell within the competence of the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office, but on March 29, 2019, the Prosecutor’s Office referred the case to the District Public Prosecutor’s Office in Banja Luka for further action, so in April that year the office filed an indictment for causing general danger and the illicit production and trafficking arms or explosive substances,” the Banja Luka Prosecutor’s Office explained.

Radic’s defence lawyer Zoran Josic said that the start date for the retrial has still not been set. Speaking about the reclassification of the crime, he said it could have been seen in the beginning that there were no grounds for suspicion to classify it as an act of terrorism.

“The target of the attack was not a state institution, so the criminal offence was eventually classified as causing generalised danger [to the public],” Josic said.

The indictment alleges that Radic fired a projectile at the Agram building in Bulevar Srpske Vojske on March 30, 2018 at the moment when a security staff member D.D. was in the building.

The projectile hit the ninth floor, where the business premises of an insurance company were located, breaking a window and hitting the office ceiling. The explosion caused damage amounting to 29,129 Bosnian marks (about 14,885 euros).

The indictment said that Radic then threw away the weapon in Frano Supilo Street and fled in an unknown direction.

Kristina Rađen

This post is also available in: Bosnian