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FINAL VERDICT WITH GENOCIDE COMMITTED AGAINST SERBIAN MILOS STUPAR DUE ON MAY 5
On May 5, 2010 the Appellate Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina will pronounce a second instance verdict in the case of Milos Stupar, who is charged with genocide committed in Srebrenica.
"I consider that we have proved, on the basis of material evidence and witnesses' statements, that Stupar was Commander of the Second Special Police Squad from Sekovici. The elements of his command responsibility have been fulfilled by this," Prosecutor Ibro Bulic said, presenting his closing arguments at the end of the retrial.
In July 2008 a first instance verdict was pronounced, sentencing Milos Stupar to 40 years in prison for having failed, as Commander of the Second Special Police Squad with the Ministry of Interior of Republika Srpska, MUP RS, to punish Squad members, subordinate to him, who participated in the murder of more than 1,000 Srebrenica residents in Kravica Agricultural Cooperative in Bratunac municipality on July 13, 1995.
Upholding the Defence's appeal, the Appellate Chamber revoked the first instance verdict and ordered a retrial, which began in March this year.
Stupar was on trial together with ten other members of the Second Squad and Republika Srpska Army, VRS. Six of them were sentenced to a total of 181 years in prison for assisting the commission of genocide, while four of them were acquitted of all charges.
In his closing arguments Prosecutor Bulic said the indictee "knew about the genocidal plan and the fact that his Squad was part of the plan" and that its members would "commit crimes", but he failed to do anything to prevent it.
"As stated by one of the witnesses, Stupar attended the meeting held in Zvornik Brigade Headquarters on July 15, 1995, at which it was said that a detainee took away a rifle and started shooting in Kravica. On that occasion he said his soldiers opened fire on the detainees," Bulic said.
The Defence argues that the Prosecution has not proved that Stupar was Commander of the Second Special Police Squad from Sekovici on July 13, 1995.
"On the basis of a number of witnesses' statements, I consider that we have proved that it was not Stupar, but Rade Cuturic, who was the Squad Commander at the time covered by the indictment," Ozrenka Jaksic, Defence attorney of the indictee, said.
According to statements given by witnesses, Cuturic was killed in September 1995.
Jaksic said the witnesses' statements and the facts that had been presented imply that Stupar did not have any information about the commission of the crime, adding that the participants in the meeting held in the Brigade Headquarters premises on July 15, 1995, "confirmed, as witnesses, that he did not take part in the discussions".
"On the basis of this we can conclude that the only correct decision would be to acquit Milos Stupar of criminal responsibility. I expect the Chamber to make this decision," Jaksic said.