Crime in the Vukovar settlement Lipovača (defendant Mile Vukelić et. al.)

Trial against Mile Vukelić, Nedeljko Marković, Dragan Bogdanović, Miroslav Matijević, Branko Sušić, Miroslav Bogdanović and Pero Pjevaljčić.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Vukovar County Court

Case File No.: K-88/98

Judges’ panel: judge Miroslav Šovanj, presiding; judges Željko Marin and Berislav Matanović, members; lay-judges Ivica Domažinović, Marko Kukrika, Martin Nedeljković and Ante Perić, members

Indictment: No. DO-K-70/98 of 9 December 1998 issued by the Vukovar ŽDO can be read in Croatian here.

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

Defendants: Mile Vukelić, available; Nedeljko Marković, Dragan Bogdanović, Miroslav Matijević, Branko Sušić, Miroslav Bogdanović and Pero Pjevaljčić, unavailable

Defence Counsels: Antun Babić, Damir Grgurić, Boris Banić, Zlatko Cvrković, Ivan Lukić, Mijo Maćaš and Stjepan Šporčić

Victim – killed: Ivan Kunc

VERDICT (SUMMARY)

According to the Vukovar County Court’s Verdict of 25 June 1999, defendants were found guilty as charged that in Lipovača, after the occupation of that part of Vukovar on 10 September 1991, in the capacity as members of the reserve formation of the so-called JNA, they took away civilian Ivan Kunc from the Local Community Office, defendant Pero Pjevaljčić told the victim to walk away 5-6 metres, then the defendants formed a firing line and fired at the mentioned civilian using long guns by inflicting injuries to the victim causing his immediate death.

In addition, Mile Vukelić was also found guilty that he kept ammunition and explosive substances in his house without authorisation in September 1998.

Defendant Pjevaljčić was sentenced to 15 years in prison and the other defendants were sentenced to 12 years in prison each.

Mile Vukelić was sentenced to 6 months in prison for the commission of crime of illicit possession of weapons and explosive substances, therefore he received a joint prison sentence to 12 years and 3 months in prison.

The Vukovar County Court’s Verdict No. K-88/98 of 25 June 1999 can be read in Croatian here.

On 14 December 2000, the VSRH modified the verdict of the first-instance court because of the criminal offence of illicit possession of weapons and explosive substances referred to in Article 335 of the Criminal Law Act and rejected in that part of the verdict the charge against Mile Vukelić. For that reason, the decision of the court of first instance was modified in the sentencing part by sentencing Vukelić to 12 years in prison.

The rest of the appeal by Mile Vukelić, the appeals lodged by other defendants and by the State Attorney were rejected so that the remaining parts of the verdict of the first-instance courts were confirmed.

The VSRH verdict No. I Kž-737/1999-3 of 14 December 2000 can be read in Croatian here.