Bosnia Acquits Serb Ex-Fighters of Killing Civilian Captives

6. July 2023.09:52
Spomenko Novovic and Borislav Pjano were cleared of involvement in the illegal detention and killing of Bosniak civilians in the Foca area of eastern Bosnia during the war in 1992.

This post is also available in: Bosnian

Spomenko Novović i Borislav Pjano
Spomenko Novovic and Borislav Pjano. Photo: Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Bosnian state court in Sarajevo on Thursday acquitted Spomenko Novovic and Borislav Pjano of the murders, inhumane treatment, illegal detention and robbery of Bosniak civilians in the villages of Dragocava, Sube and Potpece near Foca during the war from April to September 1992.

They were also cleared of involvement in persecution as part of a widespread and systematic attack by Bosnian Serb military, police and paramilitary units in the Foca area.

Explaining the verdict, presiding judge Mediha Pasic said that the court had not established beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crimes.

Novovic was charged with killing a group of civilians in June 1992 and setting the house with their bodies inside it on fire several days later, among other alleged offences.

Pjano was charged with having participated in the capture and unlawful detention of 17 people in Potpece in August 1992. According to the indictment, six of the civilian captives were killed.

It alleged that Pjano opened fire through the window of the house in which they were detained, while other Bosnian Serb fighters threw in a bomb.

Thursday’s verdict was a first-instance judgment and can be appealed.

Enes Hodžić

This post is also available in: Bosnian