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Court passes first instance judgment in Kožuhe case

On 15 October 2020, the War Crimes Department - part of the Higher Court in Belgrade passed a first-instance judgment in the case addressing a war crime committed in village Kožuhe in the area of Doboj, BH. Pursuant to an indictment issued by the Office of the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor (OWCP), the court found defendant Nebojša Stojanović guilty of the criminal offence under article 144 (war crime against prisoners of war) of the FRY Criminal Act, and sentenced him to 8 (eight) years in prison. 

The incident relevant to this case took place in village Kožuhe, municipal area of Doboj, BH in early May 1992. Acting as a member of a volunteer unit operating within the Serbian armed force, the defendant took the life of Ivan Sivrić, a prisoner of war serving as part of the Croatian Defence Council (CDC).

Upon an international arrest warrant issued by the BH judicial authorities, defendant Stojanović was arrested in Switzerland. In response to Serbia's request, the competent Swiss authorities decided to extradite the defendant to Serbia.

A large number of witnesses and expert witnesses were interviewed in the course of the proceedings. Some of them testified via video links, whereas others personally appeared before the OWCP during the investigation, i.e. before the War Crimes Department at the main hearing.