Case: Pavic Sretko

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28. January 2020.
Former Bosnian Serb soldier Sretko Pavic is being retried for the detention and killing of five Bosniak civilians, all members of the same family, near Prijedor in 1992.

The retrial of Sretko Pavic opened on Tuesday at the appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court after the first-instance verdict sentencing him to 13 years in prison for crimes against humanity was quashed.

Pavic was convicted in June last year of participating in the murder of five Bosniak civilians, all members of the Causevic family, in the village of Rizvanovici in the Prijedor area in the second half of July 1992.

The defendant, a wartime member of the Volarska Company with the Sixth Ljubija Battalion of the Bosnian Serb Army, was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

However, the verdict was quashed and a retrial ordered.

The defence proposed on Tuesday that a doctor who carried out autopsies on the victims’ bodies should be called to testify, while the prosecution said that the evidence it presented at the original trial should stand.

The trial will continue on February 17.

The retrial of two other former Bosnian Serb Army soldiers in a separate case also opened on Tuesday at the Bosnian state court.

Boro Milojica, a wartime member of the 6th Ljubija Battalion of the Bosnian Serb Army, was found guilty in June last year of the murder of Bosniak civilians in the village of Hambarine in the Prijedor area in July 1992.

Under the same verdict, Milojica and another member of the same battalion, Zelislav Rivic, were found not guilty of the murders of other Bosniak, Roma and Croat civilians in July 1992.

However, the verdict was quashed by the court’s appeals chamber and a retrial ordered.

The retrial will continue on February 25.


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10. October 2019.

Former Bosnian Serb soldier Sretko Pavic appealed against the verdict convicting him of detaining and killing five Bosniak civilians, all members of the same family, near Prijedor in 1992. Sretko Pavic, a former member of the Volarska Company with the Sixth Ljubija Battalion of the Bosnian Serb Army, asked the appeals chamber of the Bosnian state court in Sarajevo on Thursday to quash the sentence convicting him of wartime crimes or order a retrial.


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24. June 2019.

Former Bosnian Serb soldier Sretko Pavic was sentenced to 13 years in prison for the detention and killing of five Bosniak civilians, all members of the same family, near Prijedor in 1992. The Bosnian state court found Sretko Pavic guilty on Monday of having participated in the murder of five civilians in the village of Rizvanovici in the Prijedor area in the second half of July 1992, and sentenced him to 13 years in prison.


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13. May 2019.
Former Bosnian Serb soldier Sretko Pavic’s defence called for him to be acquitted of the detention and killing of five Bosniak civilians, all members of the same family, near Prijedor in 1992.

In closing arguments at the Bosnian state court on Monday, Sretko Pavic’s defence lawyer said that the defendant should be acquitted of taking five Bosniak civilians to a checkpoint in Rizvanovici in the Prijedor area in the second half of June 1992, detaining them and then killing them.

Defence lawyer Ranko Dakic argued that the testimony given by a protected witness codenamed S-1, an alleged eyewitness to the killing of the five members of the Causevic family, contained factual inaccuracies.

“Witness S-1’s testimony is contradictory to all other witnesses’ testimonies. Many allegations from S-1’s testimony are incorrect and a verdict of conviction cannot be based on them,” Dakic told the court.

“[S-1] alleged that he saw Pavic and [another soldier called] Pero Stevandic after the shooting in the vicinity of the place where the Causevic family members were killed, but there are witnesses who saw only him,” he said, adding that S-1’s identification of the defendant could also be disputed.

Pavic is accused of committing the crime as a member of the Volarska Company with the Sixth Ljubija Battalion of the Bosnian Serb Army’s 43rd Prijedor Motorised Brigade.

According to the defence, it is not disputed that a checkpoint was set up near the school building in Rizvanovici in the second half of July 1992, but it has not been properly established which units were present at the checkpoint.

The defence also did not dispute that members of the Causevic family were arrested in the hamlet of Mihici, near Hambarine, escorted to the checkpoint in Rizvanovici and detained in a building opposite the school, but argued that the identity of their killer has not been proven.

Defence lawyer Dakic insisted that the victims were arrested by members of the Bosnian Serb Army’s Ljeskare Company following the murders of two soldiers from Ljeskare.

“The prosecution has not proved the existence of a crime against humanity and an organised attack against the civilian population, or that the defendant knew of that attack. The defence considers that this was a conflict between two opposing sides, not an attack on the civilian population,” he added.

The verdict will be handed down on June 24.