Trial against defendants Ranka Jakovljevića and associates for the war crimes against civilians (family of Catholic priest Matanovića).
War Crimes Chamber of the District Court in Banja Luka, Bosnia, 2004/5.
In the case of 11 police officers, Bosnian Serbs, indicment was for illegal detention of Catholic Church priest Tomislav Matanovic and his parents in the town of Prijedor, during the armed conflict in BiH (Article 142 of the Criminal Law of the Republika Srpska).
STATEMENTS ISSUED BY MONITORS
.".....the first war crimes trial in Republika Srpska did not bring justice to the Matanovic family. The Trial Chamber based its acquitting decision on the lack of evidence, which speaks more in favor of an inadequate investigation and the passive role of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Trial Chamber in collecting evidence..."
SUMMARY OF VERDICT
Trial Chamber of the District Court of Banja Luka (Republika Srpska, BiH), with Dusko Bojovic presiding, rendered an acquitting verdict on February 11, 2005 in the case of 11 police officers, Bosnian Serbs, accused for illegal detention of Catholic Church priest Tomislav Matanovic and his parents in the town of Prijedor, during the armed conflict in BiH (Article 142 of the Criminal Law of the Republika Srpska). Judge Bojovic explained the verdict by the lack of evidence, in accordance with Article 350, paragraph 3 of the Criminal Law of RS). He stated that the court proceedings did not establish that the accused had actually committed the crime they were accused of and that the principal defendant, Ranko Jakovljevic, never ordered the illegal detention of Matanovic. The presiding judge Bojovic also concluded that this case was about standard police protection, ordered by the commanding officer of the Public Security Center (CJB) in Prijedor, the late Simo Drljaca.