A Montenegrin state prosecutor and victims' families appealed the acquittal of seven indictees, charged for the inhuman treatment of Bosniaks in the Bukovica area in 1992 and 1993.
At the appeals court's session, held on Thursday, the court chamber discussed the appeals and the verdict from October 2011, which acquitted seven former police and Yugoslav army officers.
The 2011 verdict found that there was not enough evidence which would prove that the indictees tortured Bosniaks from the Bukovica area and forced them to leave their houses in 1992 and 1993.
At Thursday's hearing, judge Svetlana Vujanovic during her presentation of this verdict, pointed at some of its defects.
The verdict argued that the Bukovica residents were not tortured based on video evidence, which was never presented at the trial.
“Several times I have looked at the documents from the trial and found out that the video was not presented as evidence“, Vijesti newspapers reported that Vujanovic said during the session.
The state prosecutor in the appeal emphasized that the Superior Court in Bijelo Polje, which acquitted the indictees in 2011, gave more credence to the defence witnesses than to the victims, who described in details their harassment.
The first instance verdict in the Bukovica case has been already overturned once, in July 2011. The appeals court found then that the appointment of the judges in the initial trial was not in line with the law.
The association of exiled Bukovica residents claims that, during the period 1992-1995, 6 Bosniaks were killed, 2 committed suicide after being tortured, and around 70 were tortured by the Yugoslav army and police officers and paramilitaries from the area of Pljevlja, in the north of Montenegro.
The appeals court should decide within the next two months whether there should be a retrial.
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