First Instance Verdict Revoked in Željko Ivanović
(10.12.2012. 10:38)

On 5 December 2012, the Panel of Section I for War Crimes of the Appellate Division of the Court of BiH sent out a Decision in the Željko Ivanović case granting the appeals of the BiH Prosecutor’s Office and the Defense Counsel for the Accused, revoking the First Instance Verdict of the Court dated 24 April 2012 and scheduling a retrial before the Panel of the Appellate Division.


The First Instance Verdict found the Accused Željko Ivanović guilty for the commission of the criminal offense of War Crimes against Humanity under Article 172(1)(a) as read with Article 29 of the Criminal Code of BiH (CC of BiH). The Trial Panel sentenced the Accused Ivanović to imprisonment for a term of 13 years for the commission of the referenced criminal offense.  


Accused Ivanović was found guilty because during the period from 10 through 19 July 1995 within which the VRS and the MUP RS launched a widespread and systematic attack against the Bosniak civilian population in the Srebrenica UN safe area, in the capacity of a member of special police forces-police officer, member of the 3rd platoon “Skelani” of the 2nd Detachment of the Special Police Brigade Šekovići within the MUP of Republika Srpska, together with members of the 2nd SPB Šekovići Detachment and members of the VRS and MUP RS, at the section of the road between Bratunac and Konjević Polje, in Sandići, he participated in ensuring that the road is passable in order to carry out an unobstructed transport of Bosnian population by trucks and buses, he secured the road, he participated in the capturing of several hundreds of Bosniak men from the column who tried to escape through the woods in the area above the Bratunac-Konjević Polje road to the area controlled by the Army RBiH, in armed assaults by Pragas, tanks and infantry weapons. On 13 July 1995, in the afternoon hours, the accused Ivanović participated in escorting the column of several hundreds of captured Bosniaks from Sandići to a warehouse of the Agricultural Cooperative Kravica, who were together with the captured Bosniak men brought by buses to the warehouse, and detained in the Cooperative warehouse. On the same day, in the afternoon hours, after locking several hundreds of prisoners in the warehouse, he stood in a semicircle formed by members of the 2nd Detachment in front of the warehouse, and the prisoners in the warehouse were fired at from that semicircle, and after that, together with three members of the 2nd Detachment, the accused Ivanović got out of that semicircle, and armed with an automatic rifle, he went around the warehouse intending to guard the back of it and prevent a possible escape of prisoners through windows at the rear side of the warehouse, which represented the only possible escape points for the captives. At the same time, in the evening hours, other members of the 2nd Detachment, firing from their sub-machine guns, automatic rifles and throwing hand grenades from the front part of the warehouse, killed the most of captured Bosniak men.


The BiH Prosecutor’s Office and the Defense Counsel for the Accused filed appeals from the referenced Verdict for essential violations of the criminal procedure provisions, incorrectly and incompletely established state of facts, violation of the criminal code and the decision on sanction. The Prosecution moved the Appellate Panel of the Court to grant the appeal, revoke the contested Verdict and schedule a retrial, or to alter the Verdict by finding the Accused Željko Ivanović guilty of the criminal offense of Genocide under Article 171(a) and b) of the CC of BiH as read with Article 31 of the same Code as charged under the Amended Indictment of the BiH Prosecutor’s Office dated 20 November 2011 and imposing on the Accused a sentence of long term imprisonment.

The Defense Counsel for the Accused moved the Appellate Panel of the Court to grant the Defense appeal as well-founded, alter the contested Verdict in the convicting part thereof by finding the Accused Željko Ivanović “innocent“, or to revoke the appealed Verdict and schedule a retrial before the Appellate Panel of the Court of BiH.

Both parties have submitted their respective responses to the appeal of the opposite party and argued that their respective appellate reasons were ill-founded, and moved the Court to refuse as ill-founded the appeal of the opposite party.


On 16 November 2012, the Appellate Panel held a public session at which the Prosecutor and the Defense presented their respective appeals and responses to the appeals, having submitted that they fully stood by their presented appellate reasons and proposals. The Appellate Panel reviewed the contested Verdict within the grounds and arguments of the appeals and rendered the Second Instance Verdict.




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