Bosnia Upholds Verdict Clearing Wartime Fighter of Assaulting Boy
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The Bosnian state court said on Thursday that it has rejected an appeal by the state prosecution as “ill-founded” and confirmed the first-instance verdict acquitting Agan Ramic of mistreating a minor in the village of Brdjani in the Konjic area in May 1992.
The state court’s statement said the verdict acquitting Ramic of crimes against humanity was confirmed on December 6.
The court’s first-instance verdict in May last year ruled that the crime was incorrectly classified as a crime against humanity in the indictment.
The presiding judge said that the prosecution had not offered concrete evidence for this legal classification, and that the court had not found, on the basis of the evidence presented, that Ramic acted in the way portrayed in the indictment.
The indictment had claimed that Ramic went to the minor’s family’s house in Brdjani on an undetermined date in May 1992, wearing an army uniform, and asked the minor to catch a lamb for him.
The minor caught a lamb but Ramic was dissatisfied with it and started hitting him with a rifle butt. Other members of the Territorial Defence then joined in, the indictment claimed.
Ramic was charged with having committed the crime as part of a widespread and systematic attack on the Serb population in the Konjic area.
Explaining the acquittal in May 2022, the presiding judge cited inconsistencies between the indictment and the victim’s evidence, adding that the victim did not even confirm where the incident took place.
Under the original indictment, Ramic was charged with committing crimes against the Serb civilian population in the Konjic area between May 1992 and May 1993 alongside Esad Ramic, Omer Boric, Sefik Niksic, Adnan Alikadic, Mitko Pirkic, Redzo Balic, Hamed Lukomirko, Safaudin Cosic, Muhamed Cakic, Ismet Hebibovic, Enes Jahic, Senadin Cibo, Zeljko Simunovic and Zdenko Grbavac.
However, Ramic and Grbavac’s cases were separated from the case against the others because he was unavailable to the Bosnian judiciary at the time.
The second-instance verdict cannot be appealed.