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Elfeta Veselji sentenced to Ten Years Imprisonment for War Crimes against Civilians

In the criminal case against the accused Sakib Halilović and Elfeta Veselji, having completed the trial, on 8 May 2019 the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina handed down a trial judgment finding the accused Elfeta Veselji guilty of the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142(1) of the Criminal Code of SFRY.

The accused was found guilty that during the armed conflict between the Army of Republika Srpska on the one side and Army of BiH on the other, as a member of the Sabotage Platoon of the Joint Units Command Liplje, Kamenica, of the BiH Armed Forces, in the territory of Kamenica, Municipality of Zvornik (so-called Kibe’s group), she acted in contravention of the rules of international humanitarian law by violating Article 3(1) of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Civilians of 12 August 1949, by killing, on an unidentified day in the second half of July or first half of August 1992, in the territory of Kamenica, Municipality of Zvornik, a 12-year-old Serb boy Slobodan Stojanović, by firing a round into his head from close distance, which resulted in the boy’s death.

The Court sentenced the accused Elfeta Veselji to 10 (ten) years of imprisonment.

The time the accused Elfeta Veselji spent in pre-trial custody, from 24 March 2017 onwards, as well as the time she spent in extradition custody, shall be credited towards her sentence of imprisonment.

Pursuant to Article 284, Subparagraph c), of the CPC BiH, the accused Sakib Halilović is acquitted of the charges that on an unidentified date in the second half of July or first half of August 1992, in the hamlet of Bajrići – Novo Selo, territory of Kamenica, Municipality of Zvornik, as Commander of the Sabotage Platoon of the Joint Units Command Liplje, Kamenica, of the BiH Armed Forces, enjoying real and effective control over all member of the Sabotage Platoon of the Joint Units Command Liplje, Kamenica, of the BiH Armed Forces, as well as de iure and de facto commander, he watched from close distance a member of the Sabotage Platoon of the Joint Units Command Liplje, Kamenica, of the BiH Armed Forces – the accused Elfeta Veseli – killing a Serb civilian, 12-year-old boy Slobodan Stojanović, after which, knowing and fully aware that his subordinate has committed a criminal offense, he failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to punish the perpetrator of the criminal offense against the Serb victim, whereby he would have committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1)c) of the CC BiH as read with Article 180(2) of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The accused Sakib Halilović pursuant to Article 189(1), and the accused Elfeta Veselji pursuant to Article 188(4) of the CPC BiH, are relieved of the obligation to reimburse the costs of criminal proceedings and the scheduled amount, which will be fully covered from within the Court’s budget appropriations.

Pursuant to Article 198, Paragraphs 2 and 3, of the CPC BiH, the injured parties are referred to pursue their compensation claims in civil proceedings.

After pronouncing the judgment, the Court issued a decision ordering continued custody of the accused Elfeta Veselji on the custody grounds set forth in Article 132(1)a) of the CPC BiH, so that under the decision the custody may last for a maximum of nine months following the pronouncement of judgment, which means until 8 February 2020, or until she is committed to serve her sentence of imprisonment.

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