Hague will not appeal Vukovar acquittal

The Hague prosecution has announced Tuesday it will not contest the acquittal of Miroslav Radić.

Source: Beta

Radić is a former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) captain, tried at the Hague along with two other officers, Mile Mrkšić and Veselin Šljivančanin, for war crimes committed in Ovčara, near Vukovar, in November 1991.

The verdicts in the case, known as the Vukovar Three, were handed on September 27.

Mrkšić was sentenced to 20 years in prison, while Šljivančanin will spend five years behind bars for his role in the 1991 murder of 194 Croatian prisoners at Ovčara farm.

The UN court cleared Radić of all charges.

Today, the prosecution has appealed Mrkšić and Šljivančanin verdicts, but will not seek a reversal of the judges' decision on Radić.

The prosecution appeal states that the Hague panel of judges made a mistake when they determined that the 194 victims could not be considered civilian, therefore rejecting prosecution claims that the murders constituted for a crime against humanity.

Mrkšić was found guilty for aiding and abetting torture and murder of prisoners, while Šljivančanin was declared guilty of aiding torture.

The production wants the judgment to include aiding murder in the Šljivančanin case as well.

Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte's office announced that the verdicts were overall "inappropriately lenient," and pushed for more strict punishment for the two former officers.

On the other hand, the pair's defense teams in their appeal to the first-degree judgment say that Mrkšić's command responsibility in the Ovčara zone at the time of the crime was not determined correctly.

The defense counsel for Šljivančanin said that, contrary to the verdict, his client was not in Ovčara on the day of the crime and could therefore not be found guilty of helping torture prisoners of war.


Mladić son brought in for questioning

The son of Hague fugitive Ratko Mladić, Darko, has been summoned for questioning by Serbian police.

Crime Tuesday, October 30, 2007 12:01 Comments: 0
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