BiH’s Court brings Decision granting the Appeals filed by Two Persons over War Crimes

July 10, 2019 11:00 AM

Having held a session in the criminal case against Ivan Kraljević et al., Panel of Section I for War Crimes of the Appellate Division of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) issued a Decision granting the appeals filed by counsel for the accused Stojan Odak and the accused personally, revoking the Judgment of the Court of BiH No. S1 1 K 019187 15 KrI of 29 August 2018 and ordering a hearing to be held before the Panel of the Appellate Division of the Court of BiH.

Under the First-Instance Judgment of the Court of BiH, No. S1 1 K 019187 15 Kri of 29 August 2018, the accused Ivan Kraljević (under Sections I.a (I.c), I.a.3., I.a.4., I.a.5., I.a.6., I.a.7., I.a.8., I.b., I.b.9., I.b.10. and I.c.11. of the enacting clause), the accused Mate Jelčić (under Sections II.a, II.a.1., II.a.2., II.b, II.b.3. of the enacting clause), the accused Stojan Odak (under Sections I.a.6., I.a.7., I.c.11., I.c.12., I.c.13., I.c.14., II.a.1., II.b.3., III.a.4., III.a.5. and III.a.6. of the enacting clause), the accused Vice Bebek (under Section I.c.13. of the enacting clause) and the accused Vinko Radišić (under Section III.b.3 of the enacting clause) were found guilty of committing the criminal offense of War Crimes against the Civilian Population under Article 142 of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (CC SFRY), in conjunction with Articles 22 and 30 of the CC SFRY, and sentenced them as follows: the accused Ivan Kraljević to 2 (two) years in prison, the accused Mate Jelčić to 1 (one) year and 6 (six) months in prison, the accused Stojan Odak to 7 (seven) years in prison, the accused Vice Bebek to 1 (one) year in prison and the accused Vinko Radišić to 1 (one) year in prison.

Under the same Judgment, pursuant to Article 284 subparagraph (c) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CPC BiH), the accused Ivan Kraljević, Mate Jelčić, Slavko Skender, Stojan Odak, Vice Bebek and Dragan Miloš were acquitted of the following charges:

– Ivan Kraljević (under I) a.1, a.2, c.14, d., the criminal offense of Crimes against Humanity under Article 172(1)(h), as read with subparagraphs (e), (f) and (k) of the CC BiH, in conjunction with Article 29 and Article 180(1) and (2) of the CC BiH; and in relation to (I) section c.12., c.13 and d. the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175(b) of the CC BiH, in conjunction with Article 29 and Article 180(1) and (2) of the CC BiH;

– Mate Jelčić, (under II) section c., the criminal offense of Crimes against Humanity under Article 172(1)(h), as read with subparagraphs (e) and k) of the CC BiH, in connection with Articles 29 and 180(1) and (2) of the CC BiH, and the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175(b) of the CC BiH, as read with Article 29 and Article 180(1) and (2) of the CC BiH;

– Slavko Skender, (under II) sections a.1, a.2, b., c., (under III) sections a.2, a.4., a.5., a.6, b., the criminal offense of Crimes against Humanity under Article 172(1)(h), as read with subparagraphs (e) and (k) of the CC BiH, in conjunction with Article 29 and Article 180(1) and (2) of the CC BiH; and in relation to (under II) sections b.3, c., (under III) sections a., a.1., a.3., a.4., a.6, b. the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175(b) of the CC BiH, in conjunction with Article 29 and Article 180(1) and (2) of the CC BiH;

– Stojan Odak, (under I) section a.8., the criminal offense of Crimes against Humanity under Article 172(1)(h), as read with subparagraph (k) of the CC BiH, in conjunction with Article 29 and Article 180(1) of the CC BiH;

– Vice Bebek, (under I) section a.7, the criminal offense of Crimes against Humanity under Article 172(1)(h), as read with subparagraph (k) of the CC BiH, in conjunction with Article 29 and Article 180(1) of the CC BiH; and in relation to (under II) section b.3. the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175(b) of the CC BiH, in conjunction with Article 29 and Article 180(1) of the CC BiH;

– Dragan Miloš, (under II) b., that he committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Prisoners of War under Article 175(a) of the CC BiH, in conjunction with Article 29 and Article 180(1) of the CC BiH.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), counsel for the accused Ivan Kraljević, Mate Jelčić, Stojan Odak, Vico Bebek and Vinko Radišić, and the accused Stojan Odak appealed the cited judgment on all the grounds provided for by law.

The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH petitioned the Panel of the Appellate Division of the Court of BiH to grant the appeal as well-founded in its entirety and revoke the acquitting part of the first-instance judgment, and, pursuant to Article 315 of the CPC BiH, order a trial at which the evidence the lead to an error of fact would be presented again. Additionally, the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH petitioned the Appellate Panel to reverse the convicting part of the judgment by imposing lengthier sentences on the accused who have been found guilty.

Counsel for the accused Ivan Kraljević, Mate Jelčić, Stojan Odak, Vice Bebek and Vinko Radišić and the accused Stojan Odak jointly petitioned the Appellate Panel to grant their respective appeals, reverse the impugned judgment and find the appellants not guilty, or impose more lenient sentences, or grant the appeals, revoke the impugned judgment and order a trial before the Appellate Panel.

 

Pursuant to Article 304 of the CPC BiH, the Appellate Panel held a session on 23 April 2019 at which the Prosecutor and defense counsel summarized the arguments from the appeal, also summarizing the allegations in the responses to the appeals. The accused joined the submissions of their counsel.

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