Bosnian Court handed down Appeals Judgment in the Ibro Merkez Case for War Crimes

July 25, 2020 8:15 AM

 

On 24 July 2020 the Appellate Division Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina handed down an appeals judgment in the Ibro Merkez case, acquitting the accused of the charges that, in violation of the rules of international law, during the armed conflict between the Army of RBiH and the VRS in the territory of Goražde, he resorted to unlawful detention and inhumane treatment of civilians, whereby he would have committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142(1), as read with Article 22, of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (hereinafter: the CC SFRY), which was adopted pursuant to the Law on the Application of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the CC SFRY.

The trial judgment in this case, delivered on 25 October 2019, found the accused Ibro Merkez guilty that by the acts described in the Operative Part of the Judgment he committed the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142(1) as read with Article 22 of the CC SFRY, so the Court, in application of Articles 33, 38, 42 and 43 of the CC SFRY, sentenced him to 2 (two) years of imprisonment.

The same judgment, pursuant to Article 284c) of the CPC BiH, acquitted the accused Ibro Merkez, Predrag Bogunić and Ešef Hurić of the charges as follows:

-Ibro Merkez under Count I-2a), II-2a) the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1), Subparagraphs e) and c), as read with Article 180(1) CC BiH, all in conjunction with Article 29 of the Code, and under Counts IIa) and IV the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1), Subparagraphs e) and c), as read with Article 180(1) CC BiH;

-Predrag Bogunić under Count I-1b), I-2b), III-1b) and III-2b), the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1) e) and c), as read with Article 180(1) of the CC BiH, all as read with Article 29 of the same Code, and under Count IIb) the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1) e), as read with Article 180(1) of the CC BiH.

-Ešef Hurić under Counts, I-1b), I-2b), III-1b) and III-2b) the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1) e) and c), as read with Article 180(1) of the CC BiH, all as read with Article 29 of the same Code.

The Panel of the Appellate Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina handed down, on 25 May 2020, the judgment in the case of Ibro Merkez et al. dismissing as ill-founded an appeal filed by the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH in relation to the acquittal, and upholding in this part the Trial Judgment of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, No. S1 1 K 020466 16 Kri of 25 October 2019. At the same time, the appeal filed by counsel for the accused Ibro Merkez was granted, and the Trial Judgment of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, No. S1 1 K 020466 16 Kri of 25 October 2019 revoked in its convicting part, and a hearing was ordered to be held before the Panel of the Appellate Panel of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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