29.04.2008. Ljubičić Paško
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Factual allegations in the indictment:
The indictment alleges that in the period January to July 1993 Paško Ljubičić participated in a widespread or systematic attack on the Bosniak civilian population of the Vitez and Busovača municipalities by Croatian Defence Council (HVO) forces. It is alleged that the Accused was the commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion, which was active in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone (CBOZ) of the HVO. He allegedly exercised both formal and de facto control over the members of the HVO Military Police in the CBOZ.
The indictment, inter alia, alleges that on 25 January 1993, the Accused gave an order to members of the 4th Military Police Battalion members to attack the Bosniak civilian population of Busovača, which attack resulted in the death of 27 Bosniak civilians and the looting and destruction of Bosniak homes and businesses. The Accused is alleged to have personally participated in this attack.
The indictment further alleges that in the morning of 16 April 1993, the Accused participated in the planning of an attack on the villages of Ahmići, Nadioci, Pirići and Šantići. The Accused allegedly conveyed orders to members of the 4th Military Police Battalion which included an order that all adult Bosniak men be killed and the entire Bosniak civilian population expelled. The indictment states that during this attack, around 100 Bosniak civilians were killed, the entire Bosniak population of the villages was expelled, their homes were destroyed, numerous persons suffered serious mental and physical injuries, and the two mosques in the village of Ahmići were blown up.
According to the indictment, between January and July 1993, members of the HVO 4th Military Police Battalion, following orders given by Paško Ljubičić and with his knowledge, illegally arrested Bosniak civilians who were hors de combat from the municipalities of Vitez and Busovača. Following the arrest, they allegedly took them to detention facilities where they were beaten and subjected to other forms of severe physical and psychological abuse.
The indictment further alleges that members of the HVO 4th Military Police Battalion used detained Bosniak civilians as human shields and forced them to perform labour for HVO members at the front line.
Charges in the indictment:
Paško Ljubičić is charged with the following criminal offences:
· Crimes against humanity pursuant to Article 172 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CC BiH) in conjunction with the following items:
· War crimes against civilians pursuant to Article 173 of the CC BiH in conjunction with the following items:
· Violating the laws and practices of warfare pursuant to Article 179 of the CC BiH in conjunction with the following item:
all in conjunction with Articles 29, 31, 35, and 180(1) (2) of CC BiH.
Course of the proceedings:
The adapted indictment was accepted on 21 December 2006. At a plea hearing held on 9 January 2007, the Accused did not enter a plea. The Court recorded a plea of not guilty in accordance with the law. The trial commenced on 11 May 2007 and the Prosecutor is currently presenting his evidence. The main trial commenced on 11 May 2007.
On 29 April 2008, following the consideration and acceptance of the Plea Agreement entered into by the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and the Accused Ljubičić, the Court of BiH pronounced a verdict finding Paško Ljubičić guilty of the criminal offence of War Crimes against Civilians and sentenced him to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.