The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina acquitted Zoran Marjanovic of all charges for the crimes committed on the territory of Rogatica in 1992.
The Trial Chamber acquitted Marjanovic, a former Bosnian Serb army soldier, of the charges of unlawful detention and forced disappearance of a person.
“It is undisputable that Nurko Bajic went with his family to Zepa, and that they were detained upon their return to their village of Babljak. However, it is disputable that the defendant’s actions led to criminal acts,” said Saban Maksumic, the presiding judge of the Trial Chamber.
The explanation of the verdict specifies that the defendant, Marjanovic, did not detain the Bajic family by force, but that they came of their own volition to the guard post.
“The defendant’s contact with the Bajic family does not imply a severe imprisonment. The defendant, or anyone else, did not threaten the Bajic family, there were no verbal insults or aggressive behavior,” said judge Maksumic.
According to the indictment filed by the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marjanovic illegally detained a Bosniak family in June 1992 in the village of Marina Homora near Rogatica.
After that, unknown members of the Army of Republika Srpska locked up the mother and four under-age children in the high school building, while they took the father to an unknown direction where he disappeared.
Judge Maksumic said that the defendant’s actions did not lead directly to a forced disappearance, and that he could not have known what would happen to Nurko Bajic when he turned him over to two soldiers.
The Chamber assessed that the prosecution’s indictment was “faulty” and that it lacked the description of concrete actions related to severe imprisonment.
“The indictment does not say what the defendant is guilty of by taking the wife and children of Nurko Bajic to the Veljko Vlahovic secondary school building,” said judge Maksumic.
It is possible to appeal the first instance verdict to the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina within 15 days from the passing of the verdict.
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