Court of BiH delivers a Judgment of 25 Years Imprisonment to Five Persons

December 12, 2018 5:30 PM

Having held a public session in the criminal case against the accused Enes Ćurić, Habib Čopelj, Samir Kreso, Ibrahim Demirović and Mehmed Kaminić, the Appellate Division Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered a judgment dismissing as ill-founded the appeals filed by defense counsel for the accused Enes Ćurić, Ibrahim Demirović and Habib Čopelj, and the appeal filed personally by the accused Habib Čopelj, while partly granting the appeal filed by the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, so the trial judgment delivered by the Court of BiH, No. S1 1 K 017146 15 Kri of 13 October 2017, is now modified in the sentencing decision, so the accused Enes Ćurić, Ibrahim Demirović and Habib Čopelj, concerning the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142(1) of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, in conjunction with Articles 30 and 22 of the same Code, of which the trial judgment found them guilty, pursuant to the foregoing statutory provisions, as well as Articles 33, 38(1) and 41(1) of the same Code, shall now receive the sentences as follows: the accused Enes Ćurić to 8 (eight) years of imprisonment, the accused Ibrahim Demirović aka “Hećim“ to 13 (thirteen) years of imprisonment, and the accused Habib Čopelj to 5 (five) years of imprisonment.

In the remaining part, the trial judgment of the Court of BiH, No. S1 1 K 017146 Kri of 13 October 2017, shall remain unchanged.

The judgment was timely appealed by the BiH Prosecutor’s Office on the grounds of essential violations of criminal procedure, incorrectly or incompletely established facts, as well as the sentencing decision, moving the Appellate Division Panel to grant the appeal and modify the contested judgment in the acquitting part by finding the accused guilty and by imposing on them sentences of imprisonment of adequate length, or overturn the contested judgment in the acquitting part and order a retrial. In relation to the convicting part of the contested judgment, the Prosecutor moved the Appellate Division panel to grant the appeal and modify the contested judgment by imposing on the accused lengthier prison sentences in relation to those imposed by the trial judgment.

The accused Habib Čopelj personally filed an appeal from the trial judgment, as did his defense counsel, on the grounds of essential violations of criminal procedure, incorrectly or incompletely established facts, as well as the sentencing decision, moving the Appellate Division Panel to grant the appeal and overturn the contested judgment in the convicting part and order a retrial, or grant the appeal and modify the contested judgment in the convicting part by acquitting the accused of all charges.

Defense counsel for the accused Enes Ćurić and defense counsel for the accused Ibrahim Demirović filed their appeals on the grounds of essential violations of criminal procedure and incorrectly or incompletely established facts, moving the Appellate Division Panel to grant the appeals and render an acquittal in relation to their respective clients, or overturn the contested judgment and order a retrial.

The accused Habib Čopelj and defense counsel for the accused have submitted their respective responses to the Prosecutor’s appeal, moving the Appellate Division Panel to dismiss the appeal. Likewise,         the BiH Prosecutor’s Office has submitted responses to the appeals filed by the accused Habib Čopelj, his defense counsel as well as defense counsel for the other accused, moving the Appellate Division Panel to dismiss them as ill-founded.

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