Friday, February 1, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 1,2008) – The verdict against Rajko and Ranko Vukovic, former members of the genocidal aggressor's forces charged with war crimes, is due to be pronounced by the Bosnian State Court on February 4, 2008.

For the first time since 2004, when the Bosnian State Court began processing war crime indictees, an injured party has had a chance to present closing arguments. At the hearing yesterday, in addition to the Prosecution and Defence, Aljo Hukara - whose father Avdija was murdered by Serbian war criminals Rajko and Ranko Vukovic - presented his closing arguments.

The two Serbian war criminals also addressed the Bosnian State Court, claiming that the allegations in the indictment are false and that they have nothing to do with the war crimes described in it.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Ranko and Rajko Vukovic, as former members of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia, with having participated in an attack on the Bosnian village of Podkolun when they murdered Bosnian civilians Avdija Hukara and Mejra Bekrija.

In addition, Serbian war criminal Ranko Vukovic is charged with having raped a Bosnian woman in Miljevina village. The events described in the indictment took place in 1992 during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor said that the presented material evidence proved that indictees Ranko and Rajko Vukovic committed the crimes charged upon them and he asked the Trial Chamber of to pronounce them guilty.

"After the Trial Chamber pronounces the indictees guilty, I request it to sentence Ranko to a long-term imprisonment. The chamber should not take into consideration mitigating, but rather aggravating circumstances, such as persistence and ruthlessness in the commitment of the crimes," he said.

Defence attorney concluded that "the Trial Chamber can do nothing but pronounce a verdict of release" on the basis of the presented evidence.

Prosecutor considers that the first count, referring to the murder of Avdija Hukara and Mejra Bekrija, was "proved by the statement given by witness Bajro Hukara, the victim's son, whose credibility was confirmed by the Prosecution's material evidence, as well as by other witnesses' statements".

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