Monitoring war crimes in Republic of Croatia

Crime in prisons in Gajeva street in Zagreb and in Kerestinec

Trial against Stjepan Klarić, Dražen Pavlović, Viktor Ivančin, Željko Živec and Goran Štrukelj for a war crime against prisoners of war referred to in Article 122 of the OKZRH and Article 122 in conjunction with Article 28, paragraph 2 of the same Act. INDICTMENT (SUMMARY) The Zagreb ŽDO laid the indictment against five Croatian citizens: Stjepan Klarić, Dražen Pavlović, Viktor Ivančin, Željko Živec and Goran Štrukelj for a war crime against prisoners of war referred to in Article 122 of the OKZRH in conjunction with Article 28, paragraph 2 of the same Act. The defendants are charged that they committed the mentioned crime in Zagreb and Kerestinec in the period from December 1991 until 25 May 1992. During the armed conflict between Croatian armed forces and Serb paramilitary formations, defendant Klarić in his capacity as commander of War Prisoner’s Shelter (which was initially based in Zagreb but later moved to the military barracks “Kerestinec”), defendants Pavlović, Ivančin, Živec and Štrukelj in their capacity as Croatian Army members while monitoring the work of guard services i.e. as superiors to other guard soldiers – Croatian Army members in the mentioned Shelter they had factual authority over them and they were all responsible for implementation of the international war law rules. Namely, defendant Klarić, in his aforementioned capacity, permitted the mentioned defendants, other subordinated soldiers and other Croatian Army members to physically and mentally abuse detained war prisoners in which he also participated. When they did not participate themselves, although they were aware of the mentioned abuse, they failed to take any action to prevent and punish unlawful actions, and thus they agreed that their subordinated persons continue with such unlawful actions and with their consequences. The defendants were charged that, in the mentioned period, they abused 26 persons in various forms and thus caused them great suffering and injuries of physical integrity and health. In October 2012, shortly before the conclusion of the first-instance proceedings, the prosecution modified the indictment and informed thereof in written the competent court. The defendants are charged with war crime against war prisoners which was committed from mid January 1992 until 29 April 1992. On the basis of command responsibility, the 1st defendant Stjepan Klarić is charged with failing to prevent the torture and inhumane treatment committed by his subordinates against war prisoners and with direct commission of the crime. Other four defendants are charged that they committed war crime against war prisoners, i.e. they are also charged as direct perpetrators. The indictment’s specification section has been amended in respect of Nada Miličević, Milorad Blagojević, Miloš Crnković and Rajka Majkić, the witnesses which the prosecution proposed during the main hearing. In addition, the following crime commission acts specified: forcing war prisoners to have sexual intercourse with female prisoners and the rape of female prisoners.   GENERAL INFORMATION Zagreb County Court Case file number: 9 K-RZ-6/11 War Crimes Council (panel): judge Marijan Garac, Council President, judges Mirjana Rigljan and Petar Šakić, Council Members Indictment: No. K-DO-384/10 of 18 November 2011 issued by the Zagreb ŽDO Prosecution: Robert Petrovečki, Zagreb County Deputy State’s Attorney Criminal offence: war crime against war prisoners, Article 122 of the OKZRH and Article 122 in conjunction with Article 28, paragraph 2 of the same Act. Defendants: Stjepan Klarić, Dražen Pavlović, Viktor Ivančin, Željko Živec and Goran Štrukelj Defence: Berislav Herceg, a lawyer practicing in Zagreb representing the 1st defendant Enver Vučetić, a lawyer practicing in Zagreb representing the 2nd defendant Mario Medak, a lawyer practicing in Zagreb representing the 3rd defendant Tomislav Jonjić, a lawyer practicing in Zagreb representing the 4th defendant Gordan Preglej, a lawyer practicing in Zagreb representing the 5th defendant

Victims (physically, mentally and/or sexually abused): Đorđe Jovičić, Dobroslav Gračanin, Milka Badrić, Milena Adamović, Danica Vuruna, Danica Poznanović, Zorka Hrkić, Pantelija Zec, Slobodan Kukić, Tomislav Božović, Damir Kalik, Branko Zeljak, Milorad Đuričić, Branimir Skočić, Miodrag Nikolić, Petra Došen, Vid Ninić, Slobodan Jasenski, Ljuban Grab, Dušica Nikolić, Borivoj Rogić, Nenad Filipović, Nebojša Kostadinović, Vojkan Živković, Nada Grab, one unidentified person, Nada Miličević, Milorad Blagojević, Miloš Crnković and Rajka Majkić VERDICT On 31 October 2012, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council pronounced the non-final verdict in which the defendants were found guilty and sentenced, as follows: – 1st defendant Stjepan Klarić – 3 years and 6 months prison sentence, – 2nd defendant Dražen Pavlović – 1 year prison sentence, – 3rd defendant Viktor Ivančin – 2 years prison sentence, – 4th defendant Željko Živec – 1 year prison sentence, – 5th defendant Goran Štrukelj – 1 year prison sentence. Detention against three defendants was vacated. The time which the defendants had spent in custody before this verdict will be added to the prison sentence, as follows: in respect of the first three defendants from 22 November 2010 until 31 October 2012; in respect of the fourth defendant from 22 November 2010 until 16 July 2012; and in respect of the fifth defendant Štrukelj from 22 November 2010 until 14 February 2012 and from 16 May 2012 until 16 July 2012.

Crime in the villages along the Una river near Hrvatska Kostajnica

On 16 February 2010, the main hearing commenced before the Sisak County Court in the trial against Pero Đermanović, Ljuban Bradarić, Dubravko Čavić and Ljubiša Čavić, who were indicted for committing in 1991 in the villages Stubalj, Graboštani, Gornji and Donji Hrastovac a war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH. On 23 April 2010, the first instance verdict was pronounced against the defendants finding them guilty and sentencing them to prison: Pero Đermanović (11 years), Ljuban Bradarić (1 year), Dubravko Čavić (9 years) and Ljubiša Čavić (2 years). The session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia was held on 22 December 2010. Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia quashed the verdict of Sisak County Court. The VSRH quashed the first instance verdict in the case of defendants Đermanović and Dubravko and Ljubiša Čavić. As for defendant Bradarić, the first instance verdict was confirmed. After the repeated trial, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council found the defendants guilty and sentenced them to the following prison sentences: Pero Đermanović (9 years), Dubravko Čavić (7 years) and Ljubiša Čavić (2 years).

The VSRH Appeal Chamber at its session held on 5 September 2012 quashed the verdict iand remanded the case back to the first-instance court for a retrial. On 26 March 2013, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council pronounced the verdict in which defendants Đermanović, Dubravko Čavić and Ljubiša Čavić were found guilty and sentence to the following prison sentences: Đermanović (9 years), Dubravko Čavić (7 years) and Ljubiša Čavić (2 years).

INDICTMENT (SUMMARY)

The Indictment No. K-DO-10/09 dated 5 November 2009 issued by the Sisak County State Attorney’s Office (hereinafter: ŽDO) charges the defendants that in October 1991, in the villages Stubalj, Graboštani, Gornji and Donji Hrastovac, as members of illegal armed units of the so-called SAO Krajina unlawfully deprived of liberty, abused and killed the civilian Vladimir Letić, put houses on fire whereby they severely destroyed property and intimidated civilians with the purpose of forcing them to leave their villages. You can see the indictment here (in Croatian). GENERAL INFORMATION Sisak County Court Case file number: K-44/09 War Crimes Council: judge Snježana Mrkoci, Council President; judges Željko Milinarić and Alenka Lešić, Council Members Indictment: No. K-DO-10/09 of 5 November 2009 issued by the Sisak ŽDO. Prosecution: Ivan Petrkač, the Sisak County Deputy State’s Attorney Criminal act: a war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH Defendants: Pero Đermanović (kept in custody, which was cancelled on 12 November 2012), Ljuban Bradarić (not detained), Dubravko Čavić (unavailable to Croatian authorities) and Ljubiša Čavić (his detention was vacated after the pronouncement of the first instance verdict) Defence: Zorko Kostanjšek, a lawyer practising in Sisak representing the 1st defendant; Danko Kovač, a lawyer practising in Sisak representing the 2nd defendant; Ivan Rafaj, a lawyer practising in Sisak representing the 3rd defendant, Domagoj Rupčić, a lawyer practising in Sisak representing the 4th defendant Victims: – unlawfully captured, abused and killed: Vladimir Letić – houses put on fire – the property of: Stevo Karanović and Ivo Karanović – intimidated: Danica Devedžija REPEATED TRIAL Zagreb County Court Case file number: K-rz-1/11 War Crimes Council: judge Zdravko Majerović, Council President, judges Željko Horvatović and Tomislav Juriša, Council Members – instead of judge Željko Horvatović in the third (second repeated) trial, the member of the Council is judge Tatjana Ivošević Turk Indictment: No. K-DO-10/09 (K-DO-145/11) issued by the Sisak ŽDO on 5 November 2009 Prosecution: Robert Petrovečki, the Zagreb County Deputy State’s Attorney Defendants: 1st defendant Pero Đeranović – kept in custody, 3rd defendant Dubravko Čavić – tried in absentia, 4th defendant Ljubiša Čavić – attends the trial VERDICT On 23 April 2010, the first instance verdict was pronounced against the defendants finding them guilty and sentencing them to prison: Pero Đermanović (11 years), Ljuban Bradarić (1 year), Dubravko Čavić (9 years) and Ljubiša Čavić (2 years). The Court removed from the description the 4th defendant Ljubiša Čavić’s paticipation in forced detention and liquidation of Vladimir Letić. The session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia was held on 22 December 2010. Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia quashed the verdict of Sisak County Court.

After the repeated trial, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council found the defendants guilty and sentenced them to the following prison sentences: Pero Đermanović (9 years), Dubravko Čavić (7 years) and Ljubiša Čavić (2 years). The VSRH Appeal Chamber at its session held on 5 September 2012 quashed the verdict iand remanded the case back to the first-instance court for a retrial. On 26 March 2013, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council pronounced the verdict in which defendants Đermanović, Dubravko Čavić and Ljubiša Čavić were found guilty and sentence to the following prison sentences: Đermanović (9 years), Dubravko Čavić (7 years) and Ljubiša Čavić (2 years).

Crime in Novska III

 

On 23 September 2010, a trial against the accused Željko Belina, Dejan Milić, Ivan Grgić and Zdravko Plesec, former members of the Croatian Army charged with war crime against civilians committed by killing Goranka Mileusnić, Vera Mileusnić and Blaženka Slabak and wounding of Petar Mileusnić in Novska in December 1991, commenced at the Sisak County Court. On 19 November 2010, the Sisak County Court’ War Crimes Council rendered a judgement rejecting the charge pursuant to Article 353, item 5 of the Criminal Procedure Act because it held the view that this was a res iudicata case i.e. that the matter was already judged. The VSRH quashed the first instance verdict rejecting the charge in respect of the 1st defendant Belina and the 2nd defendant Milić. The first instance verdict was confirmed in respect of defendants Ivan Grgić and Zdravko Plesec. The repeated first instance proceedings in respect of defendants Željko Belina and Dejan Milić will be conducted at the Zagreb County Court. After the repeated trial, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council found the defendants guilty on 8 March 2013. Belina was sentenced to 10 years, and Milić to 9 years in prison.

INDICTMENT (SUMMARY) The accused persons are charged that, in their capacity as members of the Croatian Army, in Novska on 18 December 1991, together with the now deceased Dubravko Leskovar, they approached the house of Petar Mileusnić with the intention of killing all persons found on the spot. They are also charged that they mistreated Petar Mileusnić, and that Belina, Milić and Leskovar opened fire from automatic rifles and shot Goranka Mileusnić, Vera Mileusnić and Blaženka Slabak causing their death, and that they wounded Petar Mileusnić. The indictment No: K-DO-35/08, issued by the Sisak County State Attorney’s Office on 09 July 2010, can be viewed here (in Croatian).

The indictent was also amended at the hearing held on 6 March 2013. Additional finding and opinion of the forensic pathologist in respect of the injuries which injured parties sustained tempore criminies was included in the indictment.

  ACTIONS PRECEDING THE TRIAL In 1992 the investigation into the incriminating event was being conducted against Željko Belina, Ivan Grgić, Dubravko Leskovar, Dejan Milić and Zdravko Plesec for criminal offences of murder stated in Article 35, Paragraph 2, Item 4 of the Penal Act of the Republic of Croatia and for attempted murder stated in Article 35, Paragraph 2, Item 4 in relation to Article 19 of the Criminal Law of the Republic of Croatia. After the investigation was being carried out, the Military Prosecution Office in Zagreb dropped charges against Grgić and Plesec, whereas the procedure against Belina, Leskovar and Milić was continued and brought to the Military Court in Zagreb, under the file number K-44/92. The trial ended on 02 November 1992 with the decision on cancellation of criminal procedure through application of the amnesty law. Subsequently the injured parties filed a criminal complaint against the same persons for the stated event, however, this time the charge stated in the complaint was the criminal offence of war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Law of the Republic of Croatia.   GENERAL INFORMATION Sisak County Court Case No: War Crime Council (panel): Judge Snježana Mrkoci, President of the War Crime Council Indictment issued by: the Sisak County State Attorney’s Office, K-DO-35/08 dated on 09 July 2010 Representing the prosecution: Jadranka Huskić, Sisak County Deputy State Attorney Criminal act: war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, Paragraph 1 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Croatia The accused: Željko Belina, Dejan Milić, Ivan Grgić and Zdravko Plesec – held in custody since 20 August 2010 Defence lawyers for the accused: Zorko Kostanjšek, Marin Ivanović, Domagoj Rupčić and Dragan Crnković Victims: – killed persons: Goranka Mileusnić, Vera Mileusnić and Blaženka Slabak – mistreated and wounded person: Petar Mileusnić Repeated trial Zagreb County Court Case No: K-Rz-20/12 War Crime Council (panel): judge Marijan Garac, Council President, judges Petar Šakić and Zdravko Majerović, Council Members Indictment issued by: the Zagreb County State Attorney’s Office, K-DO-254/12 (the Sisak County State Attorney’s Office, K-DO-35/08 dated on 9 July 2010) Representing the prosecution: Criminal act: war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, Paragraph 1 of the Penal Code of the Republic of Croatia The accused: Željko Belina and Dejan Milić Defence lawyers for the accused: Zorko Kostanjšek and Marin Ivanović Victims: – killed persons: Goranka Mileusnić, Vera Mileusnić and Blaženka Slabak – mistreated and wounded person: Petar Mileusnić   VERDICT

On 19 November 2010, the Sisak County Court’ War Crimes Council rendered a judgement rejecting the charge pursuant to Article 353, item 5 of the Criminal Procedure Act because it held the view that this was a res iudicata case i.e. that the matter was already judged.

Detention of the defendants was vacated and they were set free. The VSRH Appeals Chamber held its session on 21 February 2012. The VSRH quashed the first instance verdict rejecting the charge in respect of the 1st defendant Belina and the 2nd defendant Milić. The first instance verdict was confirmed in respect of defendants Ivan Grgić and Zdravko Plesec. The repeated first instance proceedings in respect of defendants Željko Belina and Dejan Milić will be conducted at the Zagreb County Court. After the repeated trial, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council found the defendants guilty on 8 March 2013. Belina was sentenced to 10 years, and Milić to 9 years in prison.

Destruction of the Catholic church in Glina

Trial against Ranko Birač for criminal offence of destruction of cultural and historic monuments stated in Article 130 of the OKZ RH.   INDICTMENT According to the Sisak County State Attorney’s Office indictment No: KT-56/97 dated on 16 July 2007, Ranko Birač was charged that – after the Glina Municipality Executive Council of the so-called Republika Srpska Krajina had reached the decision on appointing Birač an official bearer of activities on demolition and transporting the rubble remaining after the demolition of the Catholic church of the Saint Ivan Nepomuk in Glina, in which religious ceremonies for Croatian (Catholic) population had been held prior to the occupation of Glina – he had organised a total demolition of the previously damaged walls of the church and had participated with his own truck in transporting the rubble into the old bed of the Glina river, so that the church had been levelled to the ground and the only thing that remained on that spot was a meadow, and thus Birač had committed a criminal offence against humanity and against the international law by destroying cultural and historic monuments in Glina in the period from 02 August 1994 until 31 December 1994, during the armed rebellion and the aggression against the Republic of Croatia. GENERAL DATA Zagreb County Court Case No: K-RZ-1/12 War Crimes Council (judges’ panel): judge Tomislav Juriša, Council President; judge Vladimir Vinja, Council member; judge Petar Šakić, Council member. Indictment: issued by the Sisak County State Attorney’s Office, No: KT-56/97, dated on 16 July 2007. Prosecutor: Marijan Zgurić, Sisak County Deputy State Attorney Criminal offence: destruction of cultural and historic monuments, stated in Article 130, Paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH. Accused persons/Defendants: Ranko Birač, in absentia Defence Counsel: Saša Novak, lawyer from Zagreb.   REPORTS ON COURT HEARINGS DESTRUCTION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN GLINA reports on court hearings   VERDICT According to the non-conclusive verdict passed by the War Crimes Council of the Zagreb County Court, the accused person was found guilty and sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Crime in Karlovac settlement Sajevac

On 17 December 2010, the main hearing began at the Zagreb County Court in the case of Željko Gojak, charged with a war crime against civilians – a murder of three members of the Roknić family.

On 28 February 2012, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council rendered a verdict in which it found defendant Željko Gojak guilty for war crime against civilians which he committed by killing minor Danijela Roknić and injured party Dragica Ninković. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison.

On 16 May 2013, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (VSRH) rejected as unfounded the appeals lodged by the State Attorney and by the defendant and confirmed the first-instance verdict.

INDICTMENT (SUMMARY)   Defendant Željko Gojak is charged that, in his capacity as an employee of the Karlovac Police Administration tasked to defend Karlovac against attacks by paramilitary Serb formations and JNA units, during the war at the line of demarcation with the occupied territory, contrary to Article 3 paragraph 1 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, together with several unidentified members of the National Guard Corps, in Karlovac settlement Sajevac on 5 October 1991, he entered the Marko Roknić’s family house and opened fire from firearms in the kitchen area and killed Marko Roknić’s family members Dragica Ninković and Danijela Roknić, and in the hall of the house, they shot to death Marko Roknić, thus, by violating the international law rules during the armed conflict he was killing civilians, therefore he committed a crime against humanity and international law – a war crime against civilians – as described and punishable according to Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH. Clik here to read in Croatian the Indictment no. K-DO-188/10 of 22 November 2010 issued by the Zagreb County State Attorney’s Office. The indictment was modified at the main hearing held on 15 March 2011. GENERAL INFORMATION Zagreb County Court Case file number: 4-K-rz-2/10 War Crimes Council (panel): judge Siniša Pleše, President of the Council, judges Martina Maršić and Gordana Mihela Grahovac, Council Members   – the repeated trial commenced in June 2011 with the changed composition of the council: judge Ivan Turudić, Council President, judges Lidija Vidjak and Ratko Šćekić, Council Members Indictment: no. K-DO-188/10 of 22 November 2010 issued by the Zagreb County State Attorney’s Office. The indictment was modified at the main hearing held on 15 March 2011. Prosecution: Jurica Ilić, Zagreb County Deputy State’s Attorney Criminal offence: war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH Defendant: Željko Gojak, in detention from 22 October 2010. Defence: Mijo Golub, lawyer practising in Zagreb Injured persons’ attorney-at-fact: Slađana Čanković, lawyer practising in Zagreb Victims: Marko Roknić, Dragica Ninković and minor Danijela Roknić VERDICT

On 28 February 2012, the Zagreb County Court’s War Crimes Council rendered a verdict in which it found defendant Željko Gojak guilty for war crime against civilians which he committed by killing minor Danijela Roknić and injured party Dragica Ninković. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison.

On 16 May 2013, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (VSRH) rejected as unfounded the appeals lodged by the State Attorney and by the defendant and confirmed the first-instance verdict.

Crime in Dalj IV

On 8 April 2009, the Osijek County Court found the defendant Čedo Jović guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison for the criminal act of war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the Basic Criminal Law of the Republic of Croatia (OKZRH). On 12 November 2009, the Croatian Supreme Court quashed the first instance verdict of the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court.

On 18 February 2010, after the conducted repeated trial, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court once again pronounced the defendant Čedo Jović guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. The session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia was held on 13 October 2010. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia quashed the 18 February 2010 Verdict of the Osijek County Court and reversed the case to the first instance court for a retrial. On 15 March 2011, after the conducted repeated trial, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court once again pronounced the defendant Čedo Jović guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. After the fourth first-instance trial, on 1 June 2012, the defendant was found guilty again and sentenced to 5 years in prison. The session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia was held on 20 February 2013. The Osijek County Court’s verdict of 1 June 2012 is confirmed.

INDICTMENT (SUMMARY) The indictment issued by the Osijek County State’s Attorney’s Office (hereinafter: the ŽDO) No. K-DO-52/08 dated 4 November 2008, specified with a submission filed on 31 March 2009, and at the main hearing on 15 March 2011, charged the defendant that, in the period between end of December 1993 and June 1995, in Dalj and its surroundings, with the rank of captain, in the capacity of factual commander of a military police unit under the 35th Slavonija Brigade of the so-called RSK (Republic of Srpska Krajina) Army, although aware that his subordinates – military police platoon commander Novak Simić, military policemen Miodrag Kikanović and Radovan Krstinić as well as other unidentified military policemen – abused members of the so called manual labour platoon of non-Serb ethnicity on several occasions, failed to undertake any action within his powers to punish the perpetrators and prevent them from performing further unlawful actions. By his non-doing, he gave consent to his subordinates to continue performing such unlawful actions and he also consented with the consequences of such actions. Thus, military policemen Novak Simić, Miodrag Kikanović and Radovan Krstinić were hitting Antun Kundić, causing him numerous injuries as a result of which he died soon afterwards. The aforementioned military policemen were also hitting unlawfully detained Ivan Horvat, Ivan Bodza and Karol Kremerenski, as well as Josip Ledenčan and Emerik Huđik, thus, having violated the rules of the international law at the time of armed conflict, he failed to prevent inhumane treatment of civilians, causing of injuries to civilians’ physical integrity and their killing, although he was supposed to do that, whereby he committed a war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH. You can see the indictment issued by the Osijek ŽDO No. K-DO-52/08 dated 4 November 2008 here. (in Croatian) You can see the modified indictment dated 31 March 2009 here. (in Croatian) The indictment was modified at the main hearing held on 14 March 2011. GENERAL INFORMATION Osijek County Court Case file number: Krz-80/08 War Crimes Council: War Crimes Council: – in the first trial: judge Darko Krušlin, President of the Council; judges Josip Frajlić and Nikola Sajter, Council Members – in the repeated trial: judge Darko Krušlin, President of the Council; judges Drago Grubeša and Miroslav Jukić, Council Members – in the second repeated trial: judge Darko Krušlin, President of the Council; judges Katica Krajnović and Ante Kvesić, Council Members – in the third repeated trial: judge Darko Krušlin, President of the Council; judges Ružica Šamota and Ante Kvesić, Council Members Indictment: issued by the Osijek ŽDO, K-DO-52/08 dated 4 November 2008, altered (specified) on 31 March 2009, and at the main hearing on 14 March 2011 Prosecution: Dragan Poljak, Osijek County Deputy State’s Attorney Criminal act: war crime against civilians, Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH Defendant: Čedo Jović, deprived of liberty on 7 July 2008, currently in detention Defence: Tomislav Filaković, a lawyer practising in Osijek Victims: – killed: Antun Kundić – physically tortured: Ivan Horvat, Ivan Bodza, Karol Kremerenski, Josip Ledenčan and Emerik Huđik MONITORING REPORTS The main hearing began on 11 March 2009. The verdict of the Osijek County Court was pronounced on 8 April 2009. DALJ IV – monitoring reports (in Croatian) The Croatian Supreme Court’s session was held on 12 November 2009. You can see the report here. (in Croatian) Repeated first-instance trial began on 25 January 2010 after the Supreme Court had quashed the verdict reached by the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court. On 13 October 2010 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia quashed again the first instance verdict. The third (second repeated) trial commenced on 22 December 2010. VERDICT The defendant Čedo Jović was found guilty of committing a war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH as charged in the indictment. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison. A safety measure of expulsion of a foreigner from the country in the duration of 5 years was pronounced against him. He was relieved of the obligation to pay for the expenses of the criminal proceedings. Detention against him was extended. You can see the verdict of the Osijek County Court Krz-80/08-100 dated 8 April 2009 here (PDF, 788 KB). (in Croatian) The session of the Supreme Court was held on 12 November 2009. President of the Supreme Court’s Panel informed monitors that the first instance verdict was quashed due to essential violation of provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act (the ZKP). On 18 February 2010, after the conducted repeated trial, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court once again pronounced the defendant Čedo Jović guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. Detention against the defendant was extended. You can see the Osijek County Court’s verdict of 18 February 2010 here. (in Croatian)

The session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia was held on 13 October 2010. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia quashed the 18 February 2010 Verdict of the Osijek County Court and reversed the case to the first instance court for a retrial. On 15 March 2011, after the conducted repeated trial, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court once again pronounced the defendant Čedo Jović guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. The VSRH quashed the first-instance judgment. After the fourth first-instance trial, on 1 June 2012, the defendant was found guilty again and sentenced to 5 years in prison. The session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia was held on 20 February 2013. The Osijek County Court’s verdict of 1 June 2012 is confirmed.

OPINION OF THE MONITORING TEAM FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE FIRST INSTANCE PROCEEDINGS In April 2009, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court found the accused Čedo Jović guilty of failing to take any action, in his capacity as the military police commander of the 35th Slavonija brigade of the so called Republic of Srpska Krajina Army although he knew that military policemen Novak Simić, Miodrag Kikanović and Radovan Krstinić subordinated under his authority were abusing in Dalj the non-Serb ethnicity members of the manual labour platoon, to punish the perpetrators and thus by accepting a continuation of their impermissible actions he agreed also to the consequences of such acts (five physically tortured persons and one person which died from torture).[1] He was sentenced to five years in prison. In the trial, it was established beyond doubt that the defendant was a security service head of the 35th Slavonija Brigade of the so called RSK Army during the incriminating period (December 1993 – June 1995); that Novak Simić was the military police platoon commander in Dalj and that Miodrag Kikanović and Radovan Krstinić were military policemen; that Kikanović, Simić and Krstinić had beaten up the injured person Antun Kundić who died from caused injuries; that the defendant knew about that event and about the harassing of “the manual labour platoon” members which comprised mobilised Hungarians and Croats. A disputable issue in the trial was whether the injured persons (Hungarians and Croats mobilised into a “manual labour platoon”) had a status of civilians and whether the defendant, in addition to the position of the security head, was also a military police commander in the 35th Slavonija Brigade of the so called RSK Army who was a superior authority to the military police platoon commander Simić and military policemen Kikanović and Krstinić. Based on an insight into the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, the Council concluded that the mobilised members of “the manual labour platoon” had the status of civilians since the mentioned persons had no active involvement in hostilities. The defence claimed that the accused in his capacity as the security head was not and could not have been the military police unit commander too, and that a directly superior to the military police platoon commander Novak Simić was the brigade commander (and during the incriminating period this function was performed by the major Stojan Pralica). The defence also pointed out to the fact that the charges were not resting on material evidence but instead they rested on laic witnesses testimonies only who concluded in respect of the role of the accused on the basis of his appearance or they heard of it from someone. The Council rejected several pieces of evidences proposed by the defence which included, among other, a proposal to hear Imra Agotić as the witness, or some other person with the knowledge about the military services structure, concerning the circumstance of interpreting the provisions of “The rules of the security service body in the SFRJ armed forces” and “The rules of the military police service of the SFRJ armed forces”, to establish whether it could have been possible that the position of a security head and of a military police commander could have been exercised at the same time, and also the proposal to obtain (via the international legal assistance) a formation organization of the 35th Slavonija Brigade of the so called RSK Army. Instead, the Council was of opinion that the presentation of such evidence was unnecessary and that the facts were sufficiently established. On the basis of the witnesses testimonies provided by Dalj villagers who, mostly by hearsay, heard that the defendant had been the military police commander and the testimonies provided by the military police members at the incriminating period, the majority of which stated that they considered the defendant to be the “chief” in military police in Dalj and a superior to the military police platoon commander Simić, the Council concluded that the accused Jović was a military police unit commander in the 35th Slavonija Brigade and was a superior to Simić, and thus was also a superior to Kikanović and Krstinić. It is stipulated in the verdict’s statement of reasons that also from the “Rules of the security body service in SFRJ armed forces” and “Rules of military police services of SFRJ armed forces” derived was the Court’s conclusion that the military police was means in the hands of the security organ chief, stating him to be the military police manager and that military police was subordinate to him. The question remains whether the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia will find that presenting all rejected evidence proposals was unnecessary, as was found by the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court. The Council, of course, decides alone which evidence proposals to accept and have them presented, but we believe that presenting some of the proposed pieces of evidence would not cause a significant delay in the trial but that it would contribute to a greater certainty in passing a decision. However, the main hearing alone, in the case of Croatian judiciary practice, was unusually short. A less than one month elapsed from the opening day of the main hearing until the verdict pronouncement. Six hearings were held during that time. The promptness in processing war crimes cases deserves compliments, but not if it negatively affects the publicity of the main hearing and the determining of facts. Namely at the main hearing only a presentation to witnesses of their previous testimonies was made followed by the Court asking witnesses whether they still agree to them. Eventually, a question or two was raised. Even 35 witnesses were summoned for the first hearing, and 30 out of summoned 35 appeared before the court. This is how it was possible that the mentioned hearing, which lasted for 3 hours and 10 minutes[2], included opening of the main hearing, reading of the indictment, the defendant’s plea, and within the part pertaining to evidence procedure one opinion by the medical expert was provided and the testimonies of as many as 13 witnesses were heard. We find that such practice should be abandoned. OPINION OF THE MONITORING TEAM FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF REPEATED FIRST INSTANCE PROCEEDINGS Following the repeated trial, on 18 February 2010, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court found the defendant Čedo Jović guilty of failing to take any action, in his capacity as the military police commander of the 35th Slavonija Brigade of the so called Republic of Srpska Krajina Army although he knew that military policemen Novak Simić, Miodrag Kikanović and Radovan Krstinić subordinated under his authority were torturing in Dalj the non-Serb ethnicity members of the manual labour platoon, to punish the perpetrators and thus by accepting a continuation of their impermissible actions he also agreed to the consequences of such actions (five physically tortured persons and one person which died from torture). The defendant was sentenced to five years in prison. His detention, which began on 7 July 2008, was extended. Previously, the Supreme Court quashed the Osijek County Court’s 8 April 2009 Verdict of guilty sentencing the defendant to five years in prison. The Supreme Court quashed that verdict because the first instance court made essential criminal procedure provisions violation by using the witness testimonies presented in another trial (Kio-35/07, i.e. Krz-42/07, against Novak Simić, Miodrag Kikanović and Radovan Krstinić[3]). More precisely, it was stated in the hearing records that thirteen witnesses presented identical statements to the statements presented during investigation. In the investigation records, however, it was stated that the witnesses presented identical statements to the statements contained in the trial records of another trial against the defendant Novak Simić et al. Therefore, the investigation records and the hearing records do not contain the statements of thirteen witnesses. Instead, they only contain enclosed records with the testimonies of the mentioned witnesses originating from another trial. Since the first instance court was assessing the aforementioned testimonies and was resting its verdict on them, the Supreme Court had quashed that verdict and reversed the case to the first instance court for a retrial. The first instance court was instructed to carry out an interrogation of the mentioned witnesses by itself and to enter into records their testimonies. Since the verdict was quashed due to essential violation of the criminal procedure provisions, the Supreme Court did not engage itself in assessing the facts which had been determined in the first instance verdict. In the repeated trial out of the mentioned 13 witnesses, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court did not take testimonies of 5 witnesses. In addition, in the course of interrogating 2 witnesses, the Court entered again a conclusion in the court records that they were testifying in compliance with their testimonies presented at the previous main hearing, i.e. in compliance with the testimonies provided in the trial against Novak Simić and others. Unlike the 8 April 2009 Verdict, the first instance court did not use other disputed testimonies in its explanation of the verdict dated 18 February 2010. It only used one witness testimony (Mirko Kelava). A disputable issue in the trial was whether the injured persons (Hungarians and Croats mobilised into a “manual labour platoon”) had a status of civilian and whether the defendant, in addition to the position of the security head, was also a military police commander in the 35th Slavonija Brigade of the so called RSK Army who was a superior authority to the convicted persons Simić, Kikanović and Krstinić. Same as in the first proceedings, the Council reached a conclusion that the “the manual labour platoon” mobilised members had a status of civilians since the mentioned persons had no active involvement in hostilities and that the defendant Jović was actual commander of the military police unit in 35th Slavonija Brigade. The Council rejected several pieces of evidence proposed by the defence which included, among other: the proposal to hear an expert interpretation of the provisions of “The rules of the security service body in the SFRJ armed forces” and “The rules of the military police service of the SFRJ armed forces” in order to establish whether it could have been possible that the position of a security head and of a military police commander could have been exercised at the same time; the proposal to obtain from the Republic of Serbia a formation organization of the 35th Slavonija Brigade of the so called RSK Army; the proposal to obtain information from the Osijek-Baranja Police Administration or from the Dalj Police Station whether a criminal report had been filed in 1995 after the killing of Antun Kundić. The Council was of the opinion that the presentation of such evidence was unnecessary. Without prejudice to the freedom of the Council’s choice what evidence should be presented, we are of the opinion that presentation of some of suggested pieces of evidence would not have delayed the proceedings. Instead, it would have significantly contributed to a greater likelihood that the Supreme Court would uphold the first instance court’s verdict, particularly having in mind that the defendant had already spent one year and nine months in detention and that the Supreme Court still had not been put into a position to evaluate the facts that had been established by the first instance court. April 2010


 


[1] Military policemen Novak Simić, Miodrag Kikanović and Radovan Krstinić were sentenced with a legally binding verdict in 2008 for a war crime against civilians pursuant to Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH (for physical torture of Ivan Horvat, Ivan Bodzo, Karol Kremenerski, Josip Ledenčan, Emerik Huđik and Antun Kundić who died of torture). Simić was sentenced with a legally binding verdict to ten years in prison, Kikanović to six years and six months and Krstinić to five years in prison.
[2] Main hearing court record of 11 March 2009, number Krz-80/08-82

[3] Previously, Simić, Kikanović and Krstinić were sentenced for (direct) commission of the act for which their superior – the def. Čović- is presently facing the charges. OPINION OF THE MONITORING TEAM FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE THIRD (SECOND REPEATED) FIRST INSTANCE PROCEEDINGS Even after the third (second repeated) trial, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court found defendant Čedo Jović guilty of the commission of war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH, in conjunction with Article 28 of the same Act, and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of 5 years imprisonment. The Verdict pronounced on 15 March 2011 found defendant Jović guilty that, with the rank of a captain, as actual commander of a military police unit of the so-called RSK Army’s 35th Slavonija Brigade, in Dalj and surrounding area, from the end of December 1993 until June 1995, although he knew that his subordinate military police commander Novak Simić, military policemen Miodrag Kikanović and Radovan Krstinić and other unidentified military policemen were repeatedly torturing non-Serb members of the so-called manual labour platoon, he failed to take any action within his powers to punish the perpetrators and so prevents further unlawful conduct; thus by accepting the continuation of their impermissible actions he agreed to the consequences; and thus Simić, Kikanović and Krstinić were beating Antun Kundić by inflicting numerous injuries because of which he died soon after the torture and they also physically tortured five more civilians. The defendant Jović is held in custody as of 7 July 2008. At pronouncement of the verdict, his detention was extended. In this court case, the VSRH quashed the first-instance verdicts which were rendered before. Both of the mentioned verdicts found Jović guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison: the first one was quashed for formal reasons (violation of the provisions of criminal procedure), while the second one was quashed due to incorrect and incomplete establishment of facts. In the VSRH’s decision which quashed the second verdict and remanded the case back to the first-instance court for a third retrial, the VSRH requested from to the first-instance court to adduce evidence on the basis of which it would be established who in the military formation had authority to issue commands to the military police unit (military police platoon’s commander and/or commander to entire military formation and/or security body commander); whether the defendant, in addition to the indisputable fact that he was a security officer, was formally a superior commander to the military police (and in this specific case this is not really of crucial importance); was he a de facto commander; did he take any action after the event of 3 May 1995 when Antun Kundić was killed. With this in mind, the first-instance court was requested to hear a competent person who is a military organisation expert familiar with the commanding system over the military police in the former JNA. The court was also requested to gather information whetherany prosecution was brought in respect of Antun Kundić’s death and did it come to the replacement of the then-commander of the Dalj Police Station due to the omission to take action in this particular case. In addition, the court had to collect data on the formation organisation of the 35th Slavonia Brigade and to take testimonies from several witnesses regarding the circumstance of the defendant’s position in the army, his conduct after the event on 3 May 1995, as well as to examine the circumstance which person initiated pre-investigation activities in respect of this event. As an expert-witness the court heard Slavko Kit, a retired HV colonel who used to be a JNA officer until 1991. However, the defence was of the opinion that his testimony contained inconsistent statements and therefore proposed, as it had been the case in previous main hearings, to take depositions from another competent witness – a retired general Imra Agotić, but the court rejected this proposal by the defence to present evidence. Furthermore, competent institutions provided the court with information that no person had been charged with the killing of Antun Kundić. In considering the defendant’s position in the brigade and his conduct after the killing of Antun Kundić, the court also heard, among others, Dušan Grahovac (security officer, direct superior to defendant Jović at the critical time). However, his deposition in which he stated that the defendant briefed him on the event and that the defendant took necessary measures the Court assessed as unconvincing and in contradiction with other presented evidence and directed to be in favour of the defendant. The court concluded that the defendant did not take necessary measures to sanction the perpetrators because he did not report the names of the persons responsible for Kundić’s death despite of the fact that he knew this. Unlike the prosecution’s opinion and the court’s establishing, the defence deemed that the manual labour platoon members could not have a civilian status because they were receiving mobilisation invitations and had a formation position within the brigade, that the defendant had neither formal nor actual commanding powers over military police members and that the witnesses which were providing information on the defendant’s superior role over military police members, formed their conclusions on the basis of a hearsay in the village, and that not any of them actually saw the defendant issuing orders to any of the military police members. In the opinion following the conclusion of the second (first repeated) trial, we pointed out to the possibility that the VSRH quashes the first-instance verdict, particularly having in mind numerous evidence proposed by the defence which the first-instance court’s council rejected to present at that time. Although in the course of the third trial the first-instance court carried a majority of evidence which had been indicated to by the VSRH or which was proposed by the defence (but the proposal by the defence to hear the expert-witness Imra Agotić was not accepted), it remains uncertain whether the VSRH will be of opinion that facts were established correctly and completely. Both the formal omissions which were made during the first trial and incorrect and incomplete establishment of facts in the second trial have extended thelength of this proceedings. During that time, the defendant is held in custody. If the VSRH quashes this last first-instance verdict and remands the case for retrial the fourth time, the maximum period under which the defendant may be kept in custody will most likely expire.

Crime in Perušić

On 17 January 2001, the main hearing began at the Zadar County Court in the case of Nikola Munjes who was previously (in 1995) sentenced in absentia to 9 years in prison for a war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH, committed in Perušić in September 1991. On 4 February 2011 at the Zadar County Court, defendant Nikola Munjes was sentenced to 9 years in prison. The VSRH quashed the Zadar County Court’s judgment. The case was then transferred to the Spilt County Court. After the repeated proceedings, on 30 November 2012 the County Court Split’s War Crimes Council found the defendant Munjes guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. The session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia was held on 20 February 2013. The VSRH upheld the first instance verdict.   INDICTMENT (SUMMARY) The indictment no. KT-9/95 of 27 June 1995 issued by the Zadar District State Attorney’s Office charges the defendant that, in his capacity as a police member of the so-called Republic of Serb Krajina (RSK), in Perušić near Benkovac on 22 September 1991, contrary to international law rules, he beat and threatened two villagers of Croat ethnicity while they were being taken to the “Benkovac Police Station”, because of suspicion that they collaborated with the HV. Click here to read in Croatian the indictment no. KT-9/95 of 27 June 1995 issued by the Zadar District State Attorney’s Office   GENERAL INFORMATION Zadar County Court Case file number: K – 52/10 War Crimes Council (panel): judge Boris Radman, President of the Council, judges Dijana Grancarić and Ante Anić, Council Members Indictment: No.KT-9/95 of 27 June 1995 issued by the Zadar District State Attorney’s Office Prosecution: Radovan Marjanović, Zadar County Deputy State’s Attorney Criminal offence: war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH Defendant: Nikola Munjes, extradited from Monte Negro, held in the detention unit of the Zadar prison from 20 October 2010. Defence: Slaven Dmitrović, lawyer practising in Zadar Victims – mistreated: Duje Pešut and Grgo Pešut Split County CourtCase file number: Krz-7/11 War Crimes Council (panel): judge Bruno Klein, President of the Council, judges Damir Romac and Neven Cambi, Council Members Indictment: No.KT-9/95 of 27 June 1995 issued by the Zadar District State Attorney’s Office Prosecution: Radovan Marjanović, Zadar County Deputy State’s Attorney VERDICT With the final verdict no. K-36/95 of 9 October 1995 issued by the Zadar County Court, defendant Nikola Munjes was sentenced in absentia to 9 years in prison. Deciding on the defendant’s request for reopening the trial (after his extradition from Monte Negro), the Zadar County Court’s extra-trial council reached a decision no. Kv-280/10 (K-36/95) of 9 November 2010 issuing a permission to reopen the trial. Click here to read in Croatian the mentioned decision On 4 February 2011, the Zadar County Court rendered a first-instance verdict (non-final) and sentenced defendant Nikola Munjes to 9 years in prison, upholding the previous verdict rendered by the same court when he was sentenced in his absence. Click here to read in Croatian the verdict. The VSRH quashed the Zadar County Court’s judgment. After the repeated proceedings, on 30 November 2012 the County Court Split’s War Crimes Council found the defendant Munjes guilty and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. The session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia was held on 20 February 2013. The VSRH upheld the first instance verdict.

Crime in Baranja (defendant Tihomir Kašanin)

Trial against Tihomir Kašanin, charged with war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH.   GENERAL INFORMATION Osijek County Court Case file no.: K-2/2012 War Crimes Council: judge Zvonko Vekić, Council President; judges Nikola Sajter and Damir Krahulec, Council Members Indictment: no. KT-136/94 issued by the Osijek County State Attorney’s Office, amended by the memo issued on 26 February 2013 Prosecution: Miroslav Dasović, Osijek County Deputy State’s Attorney Criminal offence: war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH Defendant: Tihomir Kašanin, available, extradited from Great Britain Defence counsel: Dubravko Marjanović, lawyer practicing in Osijek Victims – maltreated: Mato Filipović and Franjo Verner   INDICTMENT (SUMMARY) The defendant is charged that he, in his capacity as member of armed rebellion in Vardarac and Beli Manastir during August and September 1991, participated in intimidation, cruel physical and mental maltreatment of non-Serb population in Baranja. As member of SUP[1] Beli Manastir, he was depriving them of freedom, carrying out their arrests, battering and bringing to SUP Beli Manastir’s prison where they were physically maltreated and he was personally maltreating them physically. On 29 August 1991 in Vardarac, together with two more civilians, he apprehended Mato Filipović and took him tied up by truck to prison whereby he was forced to lie on his stomach and he was battered there by one Militia member. In this prison, together with two more Militia members, he was beating and kicking Franjo Verner, who had been arrested on 10 September 1991, using gunstocks, arms and legs, inflicting thus multiple injuries.   TRIAL MONITORING REPORTS Trial monitoring reports are available in Croatian: BARANJA (Kasanin) – izvjestaji s pracenja glavne rasprave   VERDICT The Osijek County Deputy State’s Attorney amended the factual and legal description of the offence and, subsequently, charged defendant Tihomir Kašanin with armed rebellion referred to in Article 235, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Law Act of the Republic of Croatia. Following this amendment, the War Crimes Council applied the General Amnesty Act and rendered the verdict rejecting the charge against the defendant. The defendant was released from detention.

Crime in Baranja

A third trial (second repeated) against Petar Mamula accused for committing a war crime against civilians pursuant to Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH began on 18 March 2009 before the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court. This Court announced the verdict on 7 April 2009 which found the defendant guilty and sentenced him to a prison term in duration of 4 years and 10 months. The public session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (VSRH) was held on 3 August 2010. Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia quashed the verdict of Osijek County Court and reversed the case for re-trial. The main hearing in the fourth (third repeated) trial began on 22 February 2011. On 23 March 2011, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court found defendant Petar Mamula guilty and sentenced him to 3 years and 6 months in prison. The VSRH held its session on 12 October 2011. We are not yet familiar with its decision. After the fifth (fourth repeated) main hearing held on 10 February 2012, the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in prison.

INDICTMENT(SUMMARY) The Osijek County State’s Attorney’s Office issued the indictment (No. KT-136/94 of 3 April 2001) against 58 persons for a criminal act stated in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the Basic Criminal Law of the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter: the OKZRH). In October 2001, the trial against the defendants Nikola Alaica, Mile Bekić, Drago Karagaća, Petar Mamula, Milan Prusac and Sreto Jovandić was separated in respect of the defendants who are not available to the Croatian Judiciary. Following the conclusion of the evidence procedure, the indictment was modified on 14 March 2002. With the mentioned modification, six defendants were charged for committing a criminal offence of war crime against civilians pursuant to Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia quashed the verdict of guilty pronounced by the Osijek County Court. Following to that, the trial was repeated and the indictment was modified during a main hearing held on 4 May 2006. The defendants Nikola Alaica, Mile Bekić, Drago Karagaća, Milan Prusac and Sreto Jovandić were charged for committing a criminal offence against the Republic of Croatia – the offence of armed rebellion referred to in Article 235 of the Criminal Law of the Republic of Croatia. With the mentioned modification, the defendant Petar Mamula was charged that he, in his capacity as a participant of the armed rebellion of the local Serb population, in Beli Manastir, Batina and Kneževi Vinogradi during August and September 1991 acting against the constitutional-legal order of the Republic of Croatia, contrary to the provisions of Article 3, paragraph 1, item (a) of the Geneva Convention on Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and the provisions of Article 4, paragraph 2, item (a) and Article 13, paragraph 2 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), participated in intimidation and cruel physical and psychological abuse of non-Serb civilians in Baranja and thus: – at the beginning of September 1991, he came to the basement of the “militia” SUP (the Secretariat of Internal Affairs) Beli Manastir, where arrested Croats were held, several of them were taken out of the cell into another room and there Mamula beat up Pavo Zemljak and fired a shot next to him. – on September 9, 1991 at the Headquarters of TO Batina, he interrogated unlawfully arrested Catholic priest Antun Knežević, beat his head and shot from the pistol near his head, brought him by a car to Kneževi Vinogradi and during the ride threatened to kill him. He took the watch from the priest and shot into the watch. He then put the pistol next to the priest’s left ear and shot one bullet. The ear-drum burst due to the detonation and the priest fell on the floor. Then, the other members of TO Kneževi Vinogradi were beating the priest with their feet and after the beating, the accused drove the priest to SUP Beli Manastir. There he told the priest to stand by the doorman’s booth and spread his feet, he kicked the priest in the genitals and turned him in to prison. The accused had, therefore, violated the rules of international law during times of armed conflict, inhumanely acted towards civilians and caused them great pain and injuries to their physical integrity. In doing so, he committed criminal acts against humanity and international law – the war crime against civilians stated in the Article 120, paragraph 1 of the Basic Criminal Law of the Republic of Croatia. On 8 May 2006, a verdict was pronounced by which the indictment was suspended in respect of the defendants Nikola Alaica, Mile Bekić, Dragan Karagaća, Milan Prusac and Sreto Jovandić, whereas the defendant Petar Mamula was found guilty and sentenced to 4 years and 10 months of imprisonment. The Croatian Supreme Court quashed the verdict in respect of the defendant Petar Mamula. Following to that, in a third trial (second repeated) which commenced on 18 March 2009, the prosecution upheld the indictment as was modified on 4 May 2006. The indictment was amended on 23 March 2011 during the fourth (third repeated) trial. GENERAL INFORMATION Osijek County Court Case No.: Krz 88/08; Krz 76/10

War Crimes Council (the panel): Judge Zvonko Vekić, Council President; judges Drago Grubeša and Katica Krajnović, Council members The War Crimes Council in the fourth (third repeated) trial: judge Zvonko Vrban, Council President, judges Ružica Šamota and Dubravka Vučetić, Council Members
Indictment: No. KT-136/94 of 3 April 2001, modified on 14 March 2002, on 4 May 2006 and on 23 Marth 2011

Prosecution: Zlatko Bučević, the Osijek County Deputy State’s Attorney; Miroslav Dasović, the Osijek County Deputy State’s Attorney Criminal offence: the war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the Basic Criminal Law of the Republic of Croatia (hereinafter: the OKZRH) Defendant: Petar Mamula, kept in custody from 6 October 2000 until 7 May 2003 Defence lawyers representing the defendant: Lina Budak and Artur Fišbah TRIAL MONITORING REPORTS The third main hearing (second repeated) began on 18 March 2009. Due to a replacement of the Council member (the judge Drago Grubeša was appointed instead of the judge Josip Frajlić) the main hearing started anew on 31 March 2009 and was concluded on the same day.

The main hearing in the fourth (third repeated) trial began on 22 February 2011.

VERDICTS On 5 April 2002, the Osijek County Court pronounced a verdict whereby the defendants were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms: Nikola Alaica was sentenced to six years of imprisonment, Mile Bekić – three years in prison, Drago Karagaća – two years in prison, Petar Mamula – five years and six months in prison, Milan Prusac – two years, and Sreto Jovandić- two years. The Council of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, at its public session held on 6 and 7 May 2003, upheld the appeal by the defendants finding it to be founded and quashed the mentioned verdict and reversed the case to the first-instance court for a retrial. After the repeated trial was completed, on 8 May 2006, the War Crime Council of the Osijek County Court pronounced the verdict on suspension of indictment against accused Alaica, Bekić, Karagaća, Prusac and Jovandić. Previously, the prosecutor had modified the indictment concerning the mentioned accused persons in a way that they were charged for a criminal act of armed rebellion (instead of war crime). Accused Petar Mamula was found guilty for war crime against civilians and was sentenced to four years and ten months of imprisonment. The Council of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, at its public session held on October 15, 2008, quashed the convicting section of the verdict of the War Crime Council of the Osijek County Court and reversed the case to the first-instance court for a retrial. On 7 April 2009, the President of the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court announced a verdict before appeal (non-final verdict) No. Krz-88/08, which found the defendant Petar Mamula guilty of war crime against civilians pursuant to Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH and sentenced him to a prison term in duration of 4 years and 10 months.

The public session of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (VSRH) was held on 3 August 2010. You can read the report on monitoring this session here. (in Croatian) Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia quashed the verdict of Osijek County Court and reversed the case for re-trial. On 23 March 2011, the War Crimes Council of the Osijek County Court found defendant Petar Mamula guilty and sentenced him to 3 years and 6 months in prison. The VSRH held its session on 12 October 2011. We are not yet familiar with its decision. After the fifth (fourth repeated) main hearing held on 10 February 2012, the defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 3 years and 6 months in prison.
FINAL OPINION OF THE MONITORING TEAM FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE SECOND (FIRST REPEATED) TRIAL

The War Crime Council of the County Court in Osijek correctly instituted the repeated criminal proceedings against the accused Nikola Alaica, Mile Bekić, Drago Karagaća, Petar Mamula, Milan Prusac and Sreto Jovandić, who are charged with war crimes against civilians in Baranja between the years of 1991-1993. The dismissed verdict in case of accused Nikola Alaica, Mile Bekić, Drago Karagaća, Milan Prusac and Sreto Jovandić was instituted after five years of legal proceedings which were conducted without sufficient indictment evidence. In 2001, the District Attorney’s Office in Osijek brought charges for war crimes against civilians for the same acts and with the same evidence that in the repeated procedure changes into criminal acts of armed rebellion. Nikola Alaica and Mile Bekić are accused of armed rebellion, although they were already given amnesty for that crime in 1997, according to the General Amnesty Act. Each of the accused spent two years in prison.

It is of special concern that the indictment is very general and relates to a very long period of time, without being sufficiently concrete, and their charge is not represented as a war crime. The basis of this indictment leads to the conclusion that the accused (except for Petar Mamula) are criminally prosecuted because they joined “the other side”. For example, the accused Drago Karagaća, among others, is charged because he … “performed military duties at the watchtower from March 1992 until fall of 1993, and the accused Milan Prusac was …”ordered by his superiors to perform other police labour…”. The War Crime Council declared the accused Petar Mamula guilty and gave him a prison sentence shorter than the one in the previous procedures, one of 4 years and 10 months. The Council explained their sentence by stating that there continue to be doubts in parts of the statements made by the key prosecution witnesses – Jovan Narandža and Veljko Salonja. The court did not establish which military or paramilitary unit the prosecuted belonged to.
FINAL OPINION OF THE MONITORING TEAM FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE THIRD (SECOND REPEATED) TRIAL
On 7 April 2009, the War Crime Council of the Osijek County Court announced the first-instance court verdict no. Krz-88/08, which found the def. Petar Mamula guilty and sentenced him to 4 years and 10 months in prison for criminal act of war crime against civilian population referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH. The third (second repeated) trial was conducted correctly, in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act. The first-instance court presented the evidence, the presentation of which had been instructed by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, including the evidence which was found to be necessary and which was proposed by the defence. In accordance with aforementioned, the first-instance court carried out an inspection into the court files Kio-30/97, Kio 29/97, and into the verdict of the Osijek County Court no. K-17/06. On the basis of this inspection, the Court was to determine for which reasons (factual substratum) the investigation against the def. Petar Mamula had been terminated, and accordingly, whether the concerned offence had already been legally adjudicated. The witnesses Jovan Narandža, Veljko Salonja and Antun Knežević were heard again. On the basis of the presented material evidence, the court found that the actions constituting the criminal offence that the defendant is charged with in this trial are not identical to the actions which were the subject matter of the investigation terminated by the decision of the Osijek County Court No: Kio-30/97 following the application of the General Amnesty Act. On the basis of the presented personal evidence, i.e. the depositions of witnesses who were heard again, the read testimonies of previously heard witnesses, the court found that the def. Petar Mamula did commit a criminal act of war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH, as he was charged in the modified indictment.

When deciding on the degree and purpose of the sentence, the court found that the purpose of punishing would be fulfilled with the pronounced less stringent sentence.

Crime in Baćin

Trial against Branko Dmitrović, Slobodan Borojević, Milinko Janjetović, Momčilo Kovačević, Stevo Radunović, Veljko Radunović, Katica Pekić, Marin Krivošić and Stevan Dodoš for a war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH. INDICTMENT (SUMMARY) The defendants (the 1st – the 4th) are charged that, from 18 to 21 October 1991 for the purpose of ethnic cleansing of the then-occupied territory of Hrvatska Dubica, Cerovljani and Baćin, together with now-late Stevo Borojević a.k.a. Gadafi, they planned and made a list of remaining population in the villages Cerovljani and Hrvatska Dubica and ordered their killing; whereas the defendants (5th -9th ) by following the mentioned order issued by their superiors on the basis of that list, brought by force at least seventy civilians of Croatian ethnicity and detained them in the Fire Department buildings in Cerovljani and Hrvatska Dubica. Out of the mentioned number of detained civilians, owing to interventions by relatives and friends, at least ten persons were released from the detention. Subsequently on 21 October 1991, the remaining civilians (at least 56) detained in the Fire Department building in Hrvatska Dubica were taken by bus to Baćin and were followed by an armed escort, and there policemen of the “Police SAO Krajina” led by now-late police commander Stevo Borojević a.k.a. Gadafi killed the mentioned civilians by shooting from automatic weapons at the site known as “Skelište”. Click here to read in Croatian the Sisak County State Attorney’s Office indictment no. KT-89/94 of 29 October 2010. GENERAL INFORMATION Sisak County Court Case file number: K- 32/2010 Panel of judges: judge Snježana Mrkoci, President of the Council, judges Ljubica Balder and Željko Mlinarić, Council Members Indictment: no. KT-89/94 of 29 October 2010 issued by the Sisak County State Attorney’s Office Prosecution: Stipe Vrdoljak, Sisak County State Attorney’s Office Criminal offence: war crime against civilians under Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH Defendants: Branko Dmitrović – 1st defendant, Slobodan Borojević – 2nd defendant, Milinko Janjetović – 3rd defendant, Momčilo Kovačević – 4th defendant, Stevo Radunović – 5th defendant, Veljko Radunović – 6th defendant, Katica Pekić – 7th defendant, Marin Krivošić – 8th defendant and Stevan Dodoš – 9th defendant The 8th defendant Marin Krivošić is the only defendant available to the Court. He was extradited from Monte Negro and is held in custody. Defence: Mersiha Mulalić, lawyer practising in Sisak – court-appointed defence counsel representing the 1st defendant; Vinko Dizdar, lawyer practising in Novska representing the 2nd defendant; Snježana Drvodelić, lawyer practising in Petrinja – court-appointed defence counsel representing the 3rd defendant; Vlasta Joksimović, lawyer practising in Sisak – court-appointed defence counsel representing the 4th defendant; Danko Kovač, lawyer practising in Sisak, court-appointed defence counsel representing the 6th defendant ; Mario Milardović, lawyer practising in Sisak – court-appointed defence counsel representing the 7th defendant; Zorko Konstanjšek, lawyer practising in Sisak – court-appointed defence counsel representing the 8th defendant; Berislav Balenović, lawyer practising in Sisak – court-appointed defence counsel representing the 9th defendant. Attorneys-in-fact representing injured parties: noone Victims: Antun Švračić, Marija Švračić, Josip Antolović, Marija Batinović, Nikola Lončarić, Soka Pezo, Mijo Čović, Ana Ferić, Stjepan Sabljar, Terezija Kramarić, Filip Jukić, Antun Djukić, Marija Djukić, Ana Dikulić, Mijo Krnić, Antun Mucavac, Katarina Vladić, Marija Milašinović, Marija Jukić, Marija Šestić, Antun Krivaić, Ana Tepić, Veronika Jukić, Soka Volarević, Kata Lončar, Marija Antolović, Katarina Alavančić, Kata Ferić, Juraj Ferić, Terezija Alavančić, Barbara Kropf, Ana Piktija, Pavao Kropf, Ruža Dikulić, Veronika Stanković, Ivan Kulišić, Sofija Dikulić – from Hrvatska Dubica; Ana Blinja, Andrija Likić, Ana Lončar, Josip Blinja, Kata Blinja – from Cerovljani; Mara Čorić from Prijedor and thirteen still unidentified persons. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia passed a decision on 12 April 2011 in which it accepted the DORH’s proposal and transferred the case from the Sisak County Court to the Rijeka County Court. Rijeka County Court Case file number: War Crimes Council (panel): judge Ika Šarić, President of the Council Prosecution:

  VERDICT On 11 March 2013, the Rijeka County Court’s War Crimes Council pronounced the verdict in which seven defendants were found guilty and sentenced to the following prison sentences: Branko Dmitrović (15 years), Slobodan Borojević (15 years), Milinko Janjetović (20 years), Momčilo Kovačević (20 years), Stevo Radunović (20 years), Veljko Radunović (20 years) and Stevan Dodoš (15 years) of imprisonment. They are not available to the Croatian judiciary. The charges were rejected in respect of Dragica Pekić and Marin Krivošić, the only available accused person, because the charges against them were amended earlier. Amended indictment charged them with armed rebellion and therefore the provisions of the Amnesty Act were applied against them. Marin Krivošić is released from detention.