A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Bosnia court reopens trial on war crimes convicts

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website] on Wednesday reopened criminal proceedings [press release] for a man convicted of war crimes in 2006, after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled in July that his rights were violated. Abduladhim Maktouf, an Iraqi-born Islamic militant, was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to five years in prison for atrocities against Croat civilians in 1993 during the Bosnian Civil War [JURIST news archive]. Maktouf petitioned for a retrial, and the court based its decision on the reasoning in a ECHR judgment [text], which held that the convictions had violated ECHR Article 7's rule against retroactive punishments, because the court had applied a criminal code that was not in effect when the crimes were committed. In line with ECHR Article 6, which provides the right to a trial in reasonable time, the court scheduled a new trial.

The court also recently reopened the cases [Reuters report] of Bosnian Serb Goran Damjanovic and another Bosnian Serb following an ECHR ruling. In August the court sentenced [JURIST report] Goran Saric, a former police chief, to 14 years for crimes against humanity. In March the court convicted [JURIST report]
a former paramilitary unit commander from Montenegro on multiple counts of murder, torture, rape and looting committed during the the civil war in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1995) and sentenced him to 45 years of imprisonment.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.