The Court of BiH sentenced 31 persons to 347 and half years in prison in total this year for murders, rapes, torturing, and other inhumane acts committed during the war in BiH. Thirteen more people were sentenced than in 2015 and 120 fewer years in prison were ordered.
First instance verdicts were pronounced for 15 persons. Penalty was reduced by 19 years in total for four persons due to invalid application of law. In other words, directives taken from the laws of the former Yugoslavia should have been used instead of the Criminal Law of BiH.
Radomir Vuković’s sentence for genocide in Srebrenica was reduced by eleven years. The highest sentence was pronounced to Nikola Marić, who got 20 years for crimes committed at the territory of Prozor, while Dževad Salčin got the least – 18 months for the crime committed on Igman, Hadžići Municipality.
Six plea agreements were made this year, by Mićo Jovičić for crimes committed in Rudo, Damir Lipovac for crimes in Derventa, Dario Slavuljica for crimes in Teslić, Stojan and Zoran Kenjalo and Dragan Balaban for crimes in Bosanski Novi.
The highest sentence of eight years in prison was pronounced for Slavujica, after he confessed to participating in the killings of 28 civilians in June 1992 on the Borje Mountain in the Municipality of Teslić.
First instance verdicts make up 153 and half years in prison in total. Marić was sentenced to 20 years in prison for all counts in the indictment which charges him with murders, forcible transfer, arresting, illegal imprisonment, torture and other inhumane acts against the Bosniak population.
The Appellate Council also sentenced Indira Kamerić to four years in prison for war crime committed against civilians in Bosanski Brod.
Forty more people were pronounced other verdicts for 146 years in prison in total. The highest sentence was pronounced for Željko Stanarević for the crime against humanity committed at the territory of Bihać. The Council concluded that Stanarević participated in throwing the bodies into the Bezdan pit, from where 83 bodies were exhumed in 1997, 65 of which were identified.
Legal expert Vahid Šehić claims that diametrically opposite verdicts, the third instance verdicts, can present a problem for the public perception.
“They are definitely a problem because two diametrically opposite decisions are reached on the basis of the same facts and then it turns out that someone made a wrong judgment,” said Šehić.
Twelve people were acquitted during the past year. Among them is Aleksandar Cvetković, who is acquitted for the genocide in Srebrenica. There were no sentences for crimes committed at the territory of Srebrenica in this year.