Crime in Zalužnica near Otočac (defendant Mićo Dorontić et al.)

Trials in Croatia

Verdict after appeal

Trial against Mićo Dorontić, Dane Borovac, Rade Hinić, Milan Brakus, Branislav Popović, Đuro Popović, Darivoj Ivančević and Nedjeljko Milinović, charged with a criminal offence of unlawful wounding and killing enemy referred to in Article 124, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH.

FIRST INSTANCE PROCEEDINGS

GENERAL INFORMATION

Gospić County Court

Case file no.: K-11/97

Trial chamber (judges’ panel): judge Matilda Krunić, presiding; judge Miroslava Jurjević, member; lay judges Nikola Milinković, Josip Bašić and Nikola Galac, members

Indictment: No. KT-370/93 of 30 September 1996 issued by the Military Prosecution in Karlovac

Criminal offence: unlawful wounding and killing enemy referred to in Article 124, paragraph 1 of the OKZRH

Defendants: Mićo Dorontić, Dane Borovac, Rade Hinić, Milan Brakus, Branislav Popović, Đuro Popović, Darivoj Ivančević and Nedjeljko Milinović; defendant Milan Brakus 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 represents all mentioned defendants

Victims:

– killed: Refik Mahmuljin

– wounded: Slobodan Damjanović, Smajil Mećavica, Zvonko Osvaldić and Boško Radić

On 14 October 1997, the Gospić County Court rendered a verdict in which all eight defendants were found guilty that they, in their capacity as members of rebel Serbo-Chetnik paramilitary armed units, on 28 June 1993 about 15:00 hours in Zalužnica situated in the Otočac Municipality, at the moment when they noticed the arrival of Croatian Army military truck with 11 unarmed Croatian soldiers, with intention to kill them, suddenly opened fire from infantry weapons and thus caused the killing of one and wounding five soldiers (all survived soldiers were captured and taken to the detention camp).

The defendants were sentenced to 10 years in prison each.

The Gospić County Court’s verdict no. K-11/97-64 of 14 October 1997 is available in Croatian on our website.

JUDGEMENT by the SUPREME COURT

 On 18 February 1998, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia (VSRH) rejected the appeal by the defendants because if found it to be unfounded and confirmed the first-instance verdict.

The VSRH verdict no. I Kž-597/1997-5 of 18 February 1998 is available in Croatian on our website.