Cases in trial or on appeal against verdict

X-KRŽ-05/40 - Kovačević Nikola

The Accused

Nikola Kovačević (before Daniluško Kajtez

03.11.2006. Kovačević Nikola
First instance

22.06.2007. Kovačević Nikola
Second instance

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Factual allegations in the Indictment

The Indictment alleges that, as a member of the SOS unit (Serbian Defense Forces) – subsequently a special unit of the Serb Territorial Defense for the Municipality of Sanski Most - the accused took part in a widespread and systematic attack of the Army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Territorial Defense, Police and paramilitary units against the Bosniak and Croat civilian populations on the greater Bosanska Krajina area (in particular the municipality of Sanski Most) in the period April – August 1992.

In the period of May – August 1992, as alleged in the Indictment, either alone or together with Milan Martić and other members of the army and police, the accused detained civilians in the facility of Betonirka, where they were subjected to torture.

It is further alleged in the Indictment that, in June and July 1992, together with other members of the army and police, Nikola Kovačević took part in taking civilians detained at a Police Station, Betonirka facility, Elementary School Hasan Kikić and the high school gym to the Manjača camp. In the course of the transport, the detained civilians were allegedly subjected to extreme abuse and severe beatings, with some of them subsequently disappearing.

The Indictment alleges that on 7 July 1992, together with other member of the army and police, Kovačević Nikola placed 60 detained civilians from the Betonirka facility onto the back of a truck (covered with canvas and lacking sufficient space), which the detainees were not allowed to lift. It is alleged that due to the enormous heat, injuries and exhaustion at least nineteen civilians suffocated.  

The Indictment further alleges that, on the same day, the bodies of the dead civilians were placed on the truck, while other civilians who had tried to help them were not handed over to the Manjača camp but were taken to an unknown location, subsequently disappearing.           

Counts in the Indictment:

Kovačević Nikola is charged with the criminal offense of Crime against Humanity from Article 172 (1), sub-paragraphs  

  1. Murder
  2. Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law
  3. Torture
  4. Persecutions against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or sexual gender or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any offence listed in this paragraph of this Code, any offence listed in this Code or any offence falling under the competence of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  5. Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to physical or mental health

of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Course of proceedings

The Court confirmed an indictment on 5 January 2006.  The Accused pleaded not guilty at a hearing held on 20 January 2006.  The trial in this case commenced on 20 April 2006.  On 3 November 2006, the Trial Panel rendered the first instance verdict finding the Accused guilty of Crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment.  On 22 June 2007, the Appellate Panel rendered the final verdict.  The Appellate Panel refused the appeals filed by the Prosecutor's Office, the Accused and his Defence counsel and confirmed the Trial Panel’s verdict.

Related Press Releases

11.07.2007 - First instance verdict in the case of Nikola Kovačević confirmed
10.05.2007 - Hearing scheduled before the Appellate Panel in the case of Nikola Kovačević
03.11.2006 - Nikola Kovačević convicted and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment
02.11.2006 - Verdict to be handed down in the case of Nikola Kovačević
30.10.2006 - Closing argument scheduled in the Nikola Kovačević case
english bos hrv срп

Section I   Section I for War Crimes
Section II 
Section III Section III for all other Criminal Actions from Court of BiH Jurisdiction
Administrative Division

All documents provided herein are for information only and are not to be considered as official records of the Court.