Thursday, September 13, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 13,2007) – Serbian Minister of Justice Dusan Petrovic said yesterday that the case of Bosnian citizen Ilija Jurišić, won't be handed over to the Bosnian judiciary.

Ilija Jurišić is a Bosnian patriot who participated in defending the Bosnian city of Tuzla from the Serbian aggressor,during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggresion against Bosnia.Jurišić has been arrested by the Serbian aggressor and has been in a prison in Belgrade since 11 May 2007.

“The Serbian judiciary neither can nor will hand over this case to the Bosnian judiciary”, Petrovic told journalists.

He said that the Serbian judiciary did not violate international law by sending requests to the Bosnian citizens for testifying in this case. The requests were sent directly and not through the Bosnian judicial structures "in order to accelerate the entire procedure",he said.

“All this was done with best intentions in mind and in the interest of the accused. I am therefore surprised by harsh reactions coming from Sarajevo because there is no reason for that. I expect the court in Belgrade to deal with the entire matter in accordance with the law and in the shortest possible period of time”, Petrovic said.

Petrovic, however, acknowledged that “technical errors” were made in sending out subpoenas by using a form that is used in Serbia in similar situations, a form that includes a warning that those who fail to respond to it will face legal sanctions.

The Bosnian Minister of Justice Barisa Colak said last week that what Belgrade has done by sending subpoenas directly to the addresses of the Bosnian citizens is unacceptable and illegal.

“It is forbidden (to Serbia) to directly summon witnesses (in Bosnia). The subpoenas from Serbia contained sanctions in the event of a witness refusing to comply and take the stand, which could not have happened, even though these sanctions have no legal bearing in Bosnia,” Colak explained.

The Bosnian Minister of Justice Barisa Colak stated that the subpoenas should have been delivered through the Bosnian judicial institutions and in accordance with procedure for providing international legal aid.

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