Crime in the settlements of the Gračac Municipality (defendant Đuro Dragičević et al.)

Trials in Croatia :: verdict after appeal

Trial against Đuro Dragičević, Ivan Gnjatović and Petar Stojanov, charged with a war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH.

FIRST-INSTANCE PROCEEDINGS

Gospić District Court

Case file no.: K-16/92

Trial chamber (judges’ panel): judge Matilda Krunić, presiding, judge Pavao Rukavina, member, lay judges Stjepan Vukelić, Branko Trešnjić and Ivanka Maoduš, members

Indictment: no. KT-42/92 of 20 November 1992 issued by the District State Attorney’s Office in Gospić

Criminal offence: war crime against civilians referred to in Article 120, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH

Defendants: Đuro Dragičević, Ivan Gnjatović and Petar Stojanov, unavailable

Defence: Stjepan Nikšić, lawyer practicing in Gospić

On 23 September 1993 the Gospić District Court rendered a verdict (no. K-16/92-13) in which the defendants were found guilty that, on 4 April 1991 and onwards, the defendant Dragičević in his capacity as commander of military facilities “Krivalj” and “Metres” in Sveti Rok, and defendants Gnjatović and Stojanov as military personnel employed in these facilities, repeatedly issued orders to soldiers  that, under military operations carried out by the JNA in the area of ​​Sveti Rok, Lovinac, Ličko Cerje, Ričica in the municipality of Gračac populated exclusively by Croatian population,

were shooting people and civilian objects, prevented the supply of the mentioned villages with necessary groceries by ordering the demolition of transmission pylon leaving the population without electricity and water, prevented the evacuation of elderly and sick; urged residents to move out with the purpose of ethnic cleansing,

which resulted in the death of civilians, the complete destruction of residential and commercial buildings.

After that, they enabled the members of the Chetnik and military formations to carry out looting of movable property.

Defendants Dragičević and Gnjatović were sentenced to prison terms of 20 years each, and defendant Stojanov to a prison term of 15 years.

VERDICT by the SUPREME COURT

On 8 March 1995, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia rejected the appeal of the defence counsel representing the defendants and confirmed the first-instance verdict.

The VSRH verdict no. I Kž-935/1993-3 of 8 March 1995 is available in Croatian on our website.