A commemoration for 71 Tuzla citizens killed in 1995 shelling was held on Friday in this northern Bosnian city in presence of the victims' families, associations and local authorities, who laid wreaths at the Slana Banja and the Tuzlanska Kapija memorial sites.
“We are here today to honour the Tuzla youth, to tell the truth again about the suffering of Bosnian citizen, one of the most brutal aggression on our country and to ask the judicial institutions to punish those who committed this crime,” said Minister for the Veterans’ Issues of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity Salko Bukvarevic.
Bosnian state Court sentenced in 2010 a commander of the Army of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity Novak Djukic to 25 years in prison for ordering the shelling which, according to the indictment, killed 71 and injured more than 140 civilians.
The sentence was reduced in February 2014 to 20 years in prison after the Bosnia's Constitutional Court established a wrong application of the law in Djukic's case. Djukic then departed to Serbia for, as his attorney said, medical treatment and has been unavailable to Bosnia's judicial institutions since then.
Tuzla Canton Prime Minister Jakub Suljkanovic expressed regret over the fact that “those who are responsible for this crime haven't been brought to justice and are free.”
Based on an agreement Bosnia and Serbia signed in 2010, Bosnia's judicial institutions asked Serbia to take over the case in order for Djukic to serve the sentence. The whole case turned into a controversy, due to a lack of documents that Djukic's defence team asked for to be delivered from Bosnia's court, which is why the hearing before a Belgrade court has been postponed several times.
Tuzla victims were commemorated on Friday by Belgrade-based Youth Initiative for Human Rights, whose representatives said it was necessary to face what happened in Tuzla and take responsibility for that “because that is the only way to create a dignified life for future generations.”