POLITICS

Fugitive War Criminal removed this Year from the Voter List in Bosnia

At the beginning of this year, the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CEC BiH) deleted Novak Dukic from the Central Voters’ List, who was convicted of crimes at the Tuzla Gate, Radio Sarajevo writes.

Dukic has been in Serbia for years and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. Dukic, as the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH) wrote earlier, entered in the Central Voters Register for the 2018 General Elections in Banja Luka, although he was still on the run, which infuriated the families of Kapija’s victims in Tuzla.

The Central Electoral Commission previously reminded that Dukic was deleted from the Central Voters’ List on September 28, 2010 because he had been serving a prison sentence since September 10 of the same year, but also on the decision of the Court of BiH of February 14, 2014, which suspended him serving a sentence of long-term imprisonment of 25 years, after which he was released.

“Based on that decision of the Court of BiH, and we received a notification about all this from the Banja Luka Penitentiary, on August 28, 2018, the CEC of BiH entered Novak Dukic in the Central Voters’ List,” the CEC and announced that they would ask the Court of BiH for information on the current status of Dukic, on which further action will depend.

The State Court told BIRN BiH that after checking through the registers for 2018, 2019 and 2020, they did not receive a letter from the CEC regarding the status of convicted Novak Dukic, while the CEC, on the other hand, referred to the Court’s act.

“According to the fact that Novak Djukic was sentenced to prison for serious violations of humanitarian law, and he did not report to serve his sentence, the Central Election Commission decided to delete him from the Central Election List,” the CEC said.

On July 20th this year, there was a criticism of the European Commission towards Serbia through the recently published semi-annual report on the current situation in Chapter 23 about Justice and Fundamental Rights and Chapter 24 about Justice, Freedom and Security, where the document critically states that “Serbia does not pay enough attention to regional cooperation in the prosecution of war crimes”.

In the report, the European Commission reminds that Serbia has not yet recognized the verdict of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in which the former general of the Army of Republika Srpska, Novak Dukic, was convicted for the crime at Tuzlanska Kapija.

Shortly after the verdict was pronounced, he fled to Serbia, where he is residing still under the pretext of medical treatment.

In the statment, it was pointed out that member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljko Komsic, during his visit to Tuzla on May 25, this year on the anniversary of the commemoration of the horrific crime at Tuzlanska Kapija. He then emphasized that “Serbia cannot be a friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina as long as war criminal Novak Dukic is a free man. Today, Dukic walks freely in the neighboring country, which claims to be friendly towards Bosnia and Herzegovina and wants to build good neighborly relations,” Komsic said.

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