Bosnian Serb Ex-Policeman Appeals Crimes Against Humanity Conviction

27. October 2021.11:32
Former reservist policeman Simo Stupar, who was convicted of involvement in killing, beating and illegally detaining Bosniaks in the Vlasenica area in 1992, asked the Bosnian court to overturn his conviction.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Simo Stupar (right) with his co-defendant Zoran Tesic. Photo: BIRN.

Simo Stupar’s defence asked the Bosnian state court in Sarajevo on Wednesday to overturn the first-instance verdict sentencing him to 12 years in prison for crimes against humanity in Vlasenica in 1992.

Defence lawyer Vesna Tupajic-Skiljevic urged the court to either acquit Stupar or quash the judgment and order a new trial, while the prosecution called for the verdict to be upheld.

Stupar was found guilty in May this year of participating in a widespread and systematic attack on the Bosniak population in the Vlasenica area from April 1992 to the end of September that year, as a member of the reservist police force of the Public Security Station in Vlasenica.

The verdict said that Stupar took part in an assault on the village of Dzamdzici in the Vlasenica area on May 18, 1992, when five people were killed and several houses were set on fire.

He and three others also participated in the murder of a disabled civilian by shooting at him.

The verdict found that Stupar further participated in the beating of a Bosniak civilian at the police station in Vlasenica in the first half of June 1992 and the inhumane treatment of another man.

The second man was hit on his back with chains and ordered to get down on all fours, and then Stupar and others carved a cross and a Serb symbol onto his back. They then poured salt on his wounds.

Stupar was also found guilty of having participated in the arrest of two men on July 10, 1992. After that, the two men disappeared and their bodies were only found in 2007.

Defence lawyer Tupajic-Skiljevic argued that the first-instance court “should have provided more convincing evidence for the conviction part of the judgment”.

She said that on three counts, the court based its judgment exclusively on testimonies given by the victims, which were not backed up by other evidence.

As regards the abuse of the two men at the police station in Vlasenica, Tupajic-Skiljevic said that Stupar was a reservist police officer and had no authority to interrogate the men, and that the testimony given by the victims was not adequate to convict him.

Stupar was originally tried alongside Zoran Tesic, who was acquitted of all charges.

Stupar failed to attend Wednesday’s hearing. His lawyer said she did not know why he did not appear.

Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian