The Bosnian Court sentenced Sasa Zecevic, Radoslav Knezevic and Marinko Ljepoja, ex Bosnian Serb policemen in Prijedor, to 23 years of prison each for murder of 200 non Serbs at Koricanske Stijene.
Petar Civcic and Branko Topola were acquitted of charges that they took part in the crime committed on August 21, 1992.
The Trial Chamber found Zecevic guilty because he personally took part in the execution of men, while Knezevic and Ljepoja facilitated it.
“It has been established beyond any doubt that Zecevic fired shots. It has not been established beyond any reasonable doubt that Knezevic and Ljepoja fired shots. They acted as fellow perpetrators, ” explained the presiding judge, Vesna Jasenkovic.
She added that three convicted men were present at all the critical points as a part of escort of the convoy of Bosniak and Bosnian Croat civilians which on August 21, 1992, set off from Prijedor to Travnik, across the mount Vlasic, where around 200 men of fighting age were separated and executed.
“They were present at the separation and loading of men, as well as at the execution spot. They did not organise the crime or created a monstrous plan. After they learnt about the goal, they undertook actions and contributed to this monstrous crime,” pointed out Jasenkovic.
Ljepoja was also found guilty of taking part in the robbing of civilians from the convoy.
Civcic, former member of the Intervention Squad of the Prijedor Police, and Topola, former guard in the Trnopolje camp, according to the verdict, were acquitted because the prosecution failed to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that they committed acts they were charged with.
“Topola was identified by a witness at the place of execution, but the statement was not of great quality, and there was no additional evidence to back it up,” said Judge Jasenkovic.
The Chamber concluded that Civcic was not present at the separation of men and place of execution and that the prosecution failed to prove his command responsibility.
According to the indictment Civcic, as a commander of the First Division of the Intervention Platoon, in charge of escorting the convoy, failed to undertake measures to punish the perpetrators.
There is a possibility of appeal to this first instance verdict to the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.