The defendant confessed his participation in the crime at Ovčara

The confession of the defendant, Ivan Atanasijević, at the trial of 16 persons accused of war crime against prisoners of war committed at the Ovčara farm (Croatia) on 20 November 1991, before the War Crimes Chamber in Belgrade, is the first confession of guilt before a domestic court.


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The Sjeverin Case – A Test for the Serbian Judiciary

The trial of Milan Lukić, Oliver Krsmanović, Dragutin Dragićević and Djordje Šević, who are accused of a war crime against the civilian population under Article 142 of the Criminal Code, opened before the Belgrade District Court on 20 January 2003. Lukić and Krsmanović are being tried in absentia. Known as the “Sjeverin Case” after the village that was home to the victims, the trial is generally seen as a test for the Serbian judiciary and its ability to see that justice is done.


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HLC On War Crimes Trial In Niš

On 11 October this year, the Military Court in Niš, central Serbia, handed down the first ruling in a case of a war crime committed during the armed conflict in Kosovo. The Court based its judgment on the confessions of Danilo Tešić and Mišel Seregi, formerly soldiers of the Yugoslav Army, to killing two unidentified Kosovo Albanian civilians and burning their bodies, and a statement made by Capt Rade Radojević during the investigation that the murders were ordered by a senior military security officer, Lt Col Zlatan Mančić. Mančić was sentenced to seven years, Capt Radojević to five years, and Tešić and Seregi to three years in prison respectively.


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Prokuplje Court Hands Down Sentence For War Crime

The Humanitarian Law Center is pleased to note that the recent conviction of Ivan Nikolic puts an end to the longstanding practice of allowing war crimes to go unpunished. On 8 July this year, the District Court in Prokuplje found Nikolic (30), a former Yugoslav Army reservist, guilty of killing two Kosovo Albanian civilians, Vlaznimi Emini and Bahri Emini, near Penduh village in Kosovo on 24 May 1999 and sentenced him to eight years in prison.


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Convicted without evidence

The Humanitarian Law Center points out that the District Court in Niš sentenced two Kosovo Albanians to long terms of imprisonment in spite of the lack of any incriminating evidence against them.  After a trial which lasted a year, the five-man panel of the District Court on 18 April 2001 unanimously found Luan and Bekim Mazreku from Mališevo guilty of terrorism under Article 125 of the federal Criminal Code (CC) and, pursuant to Article 139 (2) of the CC, sentenced them both to 20 years, the maximum term envisaged by law.  The Court ordered the Mazrekus to be remanded to custody until the sentence became final.


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