The Shelling of Gospić Crime (defendant Marcel Dusper et al.)

Trials in Croatia:: verdict after appealTrial against Marcel Dusper, Tomo Čačić, Jovo Kuprešanin, Bogdan Odanović, Relja Tomić, Duško Bajić, Dane Drakula, Mićo Vasić, Goce Koneski, Slobodan Dotlić, Dragoljub Lazarević, Radovan Radenković, Bratislav Milojković, Stevo Milošević and Miloš Bogdanović, charged with a war crime against civilians referred to in Article 142 of the OKZRH.

 FIRST-INSTANCE PROCEEDINGS

GENERAL INFORMATION

Gospić District Court

Case file no.: K-5/93

Trial chamber (judges’ panel): judge Matilda Krunić, presiding; judge Miroslava Jurjević, member; lay judges Petar Pavelić, Ivanka Maoduš and Ante Vlahov, members

Indictment:  No. KT-44/92 of 26 May 1993 issued by the District State Attorney’s Office in Gospić

Criminal offence: war crime against civilians referred to in Article 142 of the OKZRH

Defendants: Marcel Dusper, Tomo Čačić, Jovo Kuprešanin, Bogdan Odanović, Relja Tomić, Duško Bajić, Dane Drakula, Mićo Vasić, Goce Koneski, Slobodan Dotlić, Dragoljub Lazarević, Radovan Radenković, Bratislav Milojković, Stevo Milošević and Miloš Bogdanović;  defendant Dane Drakula was the only defendant who attended the trial; the trial was conducted in absence of the other mentioned defendants

 Defence: Stjepan Nikšić, lawyer practicing in Gospić

 On 21 July 1993, the Gospić District Court rendered a verdict in which all the defendants except the 7th defendant Dane Drakula were found guilty.

They were found guilty that they, in their capacity as active military persons serving in the JNA, and 14th and 15th defendants (Milošević and Bogdanović) as civilians serving in the JNA in the Gospić Garrison, in the period from 30 August until 18 September 1991 in Gospić, were giving to soldiers orders to shoot civilians, schools, hospital, church and other civilian facilities around the military barracks and the town of Gospić, as part of war operations carried out by the former JNA in the Gospić area. They also engaged themselves in shooting from all sorts of artillery weapons, light machine guns, heavy machine guns and other infantry weapons, inflicting death of a larger number of civilians and extensive material damage of construction facilities.

 Defendants Marcel Dusper, Relja Tomić and Duško Bajić were sentenced to 20 years in prison each. Defendants Tomo čačić, Jovo Kuprešanin, Bogdan Odanović, Mićo Vasić, Goce Koneski, Slobodan Dotlić, Dragoljub Lazarević, Radovan Radenković, Bratislav Milojković, Stevo Milošević and Miloš Bogdanović were sentenced to 15 years in prison each. The prosecution dropped charges against Dane Drakula – the only defendant who attended the trial and the court rejected the charges against him.

The Gospić District Court’s verdict no. K-5/93 of 21 July 1993 is available in Croatian on our website.

 VERDICT by the SUPREME COURT

 On 24 February 1994, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (VSRH) confirmed the verdict rendered by the court at first-instance.

 The decision No. I Kž 816/1993-3 of 24 February 1994 issued by the VSRH is available in Croatian on our website.

DISCONTINUED THE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST DEFENDANT SLOBODAN DOTLIĆ

The Prosecution changed legal qualification of the criminal offence stated in the indictment from the war crime against civilians into the armed rebellion. Following to that, on 30 October 2013, the Rijeka County Court applied the General Amnesty Act, rejected the charges and discontinued the proceedings against Slobodan Dotlić, who was previously apprehended, on 18 October 2013, at the border crossing between Croatia and Hungary.