Bosnia's Court abolishes acquittal of Naser Oric

Source: N1

The Appeals Chamber of Bosnia’s State Court abolished the first instance acquittal and ordered a war crimes retrial of the wartime commander of Bosniak forces in Srebrenica and one of his soldiers, the Balkan Investigative Network, BIRN, reported on Monday.

The information about a new trial for commander Naser Oric and soldier Sabahudin Muhic was confirmed to BIRN by the Prosecution office but Oric’s lawyer, Lejla Covic, who said she has not yet been informed about the ruling.

In October last year, the State Court acquitted Oric and Muhic who were on trial for allegedly killing three Serb prisoners in the villages of Zalazje, Lolici and Kunijerac in 1992.

The Prosecution office appealed the ruling beginning of May and requested a retrial. It based its request on failures in criminal procedures and claimed the court had not established the facts correctly during the trial.

Prosecutor Miroslav Janjic said the ruling was unprecedented because it is based on an imaginary piece of evidence. The Court, he said, pronounced one verdict but then sent another in writing.

“The Council says in its verdict that it will apply the case law of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, ICTY, and will not consider every piece of evidence individually and connect them, which is contrary to the Law on Criminal Procedure in this country,” Janjic said.

The Defense requested the Prosecution’s request to be dismissed entirely and last October’s acquittal to be confirmed by the Appeals Chamber, arguing that the request of the Prosecutor was “confusing, unclear and not understandable.”