One Person sentenced to Three Years Imprisonment for War Crimes

August 27, 2019 9:00 AM

Having held an open session in the criminal case of Alminko Islamović, the Appellate Division Panel of Section I for War Crimes at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has delivered a judgment dismissing as ill-founded the appeal filed by the defense for the accused Alminko Islamović, while partly granting the appeal filed by the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, so the trial judgment is reversed in relation to the sentencing decision so the accused Alminko Islamović is now sentenced to 3 (three) years of imprisonment for the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142(1), as read with Article 22 of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (CC SFRY), whereas the trial judgment is upheld in the remaining part.

The trial judgment of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina No. S1 1 K 027348 18 Kri, dated 1 April 2019, found the accused Alminko Islamović guilty that under Section 1 of Conviction he committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142(1) of the CC SFRY, while under Section 2 of Conviction he committed the same criminal offense in conjunction with Article 22 of the Code, and was sentenced to 1 (one) year and 2 (two) months of imprisonment, with the time the accused Alminko Islamović spent in pre-trial custody from 25 October 2017 to 6 April 2018 being credited towards his sentence of imprisonment

Pursuant to Article 284, Subparagraphs c), of the CPC BiH, the challenged judgment acquitted the accused Alminko Islamović of the charges that under Count 1 of the indictment he committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1)a) of the CC BiH, under Count 2 a) and b) the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1)c) of the CC BiH, under Count 3. a), b), c) and d) the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1), Subparagraphs c), e) and f) of the CC BiH, under Count 4 the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1)c) of the CC BiH, and under Count 5 the criminal offense of Destruction of Cultural, Historical and Religious Monuments under Article 183(1) of the CC BiH and the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1)f) of the CC BiH.

The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH filed an appeal from the Judgment on the grounds of essential violations of the criminal procedure provisions, erroneously or incompletely established state of facts, and the decision on the criminal sanction, and moved the Panel of the Appellate Division of the Court of B-H to grant the appeal, revoke the contested Judgment and schedule a hearing.

The Defense Counsel for the Accused Alminko Islamović filed an appeal from the convicting part of the Trial Judgment on the grounds of essential violations of the criminal procedure provisions, violation of the Criminal Code, erroneously established state of facts, the decision on the criminal sanction, and the decision on the costs of the criminal proceedings. The Counsel moved the Panel of the Appellate Division of the Court to grant the appeal and revise the Trial Judgment by acquitting the Accused of the charges, or revoke the contested Judgment and schedule a hearing before the Appellate Panel.

The Defense Counsel submitted a response to the Prosecution appeal and moved the Court to dismiss it as unfounded and to uphold the Trial Judgment with respect to the acquittal. The Prosecutor’s Office did not submit a response to the Defense appeal by the statutory deadline.

At a session of the Appellate Panel held on 5 July 2019, pursuant to Article 304 of the CPC B-H, in the presence of the Prosecutor for the Prosecutor’s Office, the Accused Alminko Islamović and his Defense Counsel, the Prosecutor briefly presented the contents of the filed appeal and reiterated fully the appeal grievances and the motions therein. The Prosecutor had not submitted a response to the Defense appeal, so he stated in the open part of the session that the referenced appeal was unfounded and that it should be dismissed in entirety as such. The Defense Counsel also briefly presented the grievances and motions from the filed appeal and reiterated the arguments from the written response to the Prosecution appeal. The Accused fully supported his Defense Counsel’s averments.

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