POLITICS

Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed Radomir Susnjar’s 20-year Sentence for War Crimes

 

The Appellate Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed Radomir Susnjar’s 20-year sentence for crimes committed in Pionirska Street in Visegrad, Dejan Bogdanovic, his defense lawyer, confirmed for the Balkan Investigation Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH).

“The defense appeal was dismissed and the first instance verdict confirmed. That verdict came to me on March 20th,  Bogdanovic said.

Having completed a trial in the case of Radomir Šušnjar, on 30 October 2019 the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Section I for War Crimes, pronounced a trial judgment finding the accused Radomir Šušnjar guilty of the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142 of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) as read with Article 22 of the Code. The Court sentenced him to 20 years of imprisonment.

The time the accused spent in pre-trial custody from 24 June 2018 onwards shall be credited towards his sentence of imprisonment, as well as the time he spent in extradition custody from 18 June 2018 to 23 June 2018, as well as his arrest in relation to the criminal offense at issue by the French authorities on 4 March 2014.

The accused Radоmir Šušnjar is guilty that, during the armed conflict and war in Bosnia and Herzegovina between the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Army of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the territory of the Višegrad municipality, from early April 1992 to December 1995, he acted in violation of international humanitarian law, specifically Article 3(1), Subparagraphs a) and c), of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which prohibits injuries to life and limb, in particular any kind of murder, mutilation, cruelty and torture.

On 14 June 1992 in Višegrad, on Pionirska street, together with Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić, as members of a paramilitary group (convicted by final judgments for the same crimes before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), all of them armed with automatic rifles, the accused Radomir Šušnjartook part in an attack, inhuman treatment and looting of civilian property. They came to the Memić family house, to which Bosniak civilians from the village of Koritnik had been previously brought, where Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić, while threatening to kill them all, with the intention to appropriate their money, gold and other valuables, ordered them to hand over such valuables, which they did, fearing for their lives. After that, the accused Radomir Šušnjar frisked the civilians in an adjacent room in a particularly cruel and degrading manner to make sure they did not hide anything.

In the evening hours, with the intention to kill them, under the pretext that their safety was at risk, they ordered the civilians to leave the Memić family house and move to Adem Omeragić’s house, some 30 meters away, where they forced them into the ground-floor room. After the accused Radomir Šušnjar pushed into the room the last of the civilians he locked the door, thus preventing them from getting out and escaping. That is when Milan Lukić threw an inflammable explosive device into the room, thus causing fire, while they kept shooting at the house from their automatic rifles in order to prevent the civilians from fleeing, although aware that by so doing they could cause heavy injuries.

The attack resulted in the killing of 25 civilians and a 2-month-old baby whose mortal remains have never been found. As a consequence of the rounds shot, a civilian suffered heavy and light bodily injuries, while five of the civilians managed to escape. Also destroyed by the fire was Adem Omeragić’s property.

Pursuant to Article 198(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the injured parties in the case are referred to pursue their redress claims in civil proceedings.

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