Crime on the Pakrac – Požega road


legally valid and conclusive verdict

Trial against Željko Milanković, Veljko Budić, Milan Pavić and Milan Sudar for criminal offence of war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, Paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH.

GENERAL DATA

Požega County Court

Case No: K-9/97

War Crimes Council (judges’ panel): judge Predrag Dragičević, Council President; judge Dubravka Grgurić-Rukavina, Council member; lay judges Marija Kovačić, Luka Luketić and Đuro Safundžić, Council members.

Prosecutor: Franjo Kopunić, Požega County Deputy State Attorney  Criminal offence: war crime against civilians stated in Article 120, Paragraph 1 of the OKZ RH

Indictment: issued by the Požega County State Attorney’s Office, No: KT-65/96-10, dated on 10 January 1997.

Accused persons/Defendants: Željko Milanković (in absence), Veljko Budić (attending the trial), Milan Pavić (in absence), Milan Sudar (in absence)

Defence Counsels: Julka Lučić-Prša, lawyer from Požega, Defence Counsel for the first-accused person, the third-accused person and the fourth-accused person; Velimir Galić, lawyer from Požega, Defence Counsel for the second-accused person.

Victim – killed person: Vencislav Štrbac

 

VERDICT (SUMMARY)

According to the Požega County Court verdict dated on 12 March 1997, the accused persons were found guilty as charged that they, in their capacity as members of the reconnaissance-sabotage platoon of the so-called SAO Krajina Army (Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina), on 09 August 1994, following the order issued by the Commander Jure Šajatović, armed with automatic rifles, they had left the temporarily occupied territory in Gavrinica, crossing the demarcation line and entering the free territory of the Republic of Croatia, finally reached the Pakrac-Požega road where they set up an ambush with the intention of killing non-Serb civilian population, and in the moment when a vehicle driven by Vencislav Štrbac and accompanied by Dario Družinec, the platoon members had opened automatic rifle fire on the vehicle with several rounds hitting Vencislav Štrbac and inflicting upon him the wounds which caused Štrbac’s death.

Each accused person was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The Požega County Court verdict No: K-9/97-9 dated on 12 March 1997 is available here.

The Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia on 07 October 1997 dismissed as unfounded the appeals lodged by both the State Attorney and the defendant, and upheld the verdict passed by the first-instance court.

Please see here the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia ruling No: I Kž-366/1997-3.