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Auditeur du Tribunal militaire de division 1 v. G.G.

This case summary is being revised and will be updated soon

Court Tribunal Militaire de Cassation, Switzerland
Case number 705
Decision title Judgement
Decision date 5 September 1997
  • G.G.
  • Auditeur du Tribunal militaire de division 1
Other names
  • Goran Grabez
Categories War crimes
Keywords prisoners of war, law of armed conflict, reparation
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Procedural history

On 8 May 1995, Goran Grabez was arrested and placed in provisional custody.

The proceedings against Goran Grabez were held before Division 1 of the Military Tribunal in Lausanne, Switzerland. This trial was the first of its kind before a Swiss Tribunal for violations of international humanitarian law.

Due to contradictory evidence, the guilt of the accused could not be ascertained with a sufficient degree of certainty. Owing to lack of evidence and based on the principle that the accused should benefit from all reasonable doubt, Grabez was acquitted on 18 April 1997. Two sums of 30,000 francs and 70,000 francs respectively were awarded as damages and as compensation for his time spent in temporary detention.

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Legally relevant facts

Goran Grabez was born in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Grabez arrived in Geneva on 17 April 1995 where he asked for political asylum.

Grabez was charged with committing war crimes against the prisoners of the Omarska and Keratem camps between May and August 1992 in northern Bosnia-Herzegovina. More specifically, he was accused of severely beating prisoners and of offending their human dignity. During the war in Bosnia, the Serb troops and militia led numerous attacks in the Prijedor region against civilians and especially against the Muslim population. A large section of the civilian population was deported to prison camps.

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Court's holding and analysis

The amount of compensation was reduced to 30,000 francs.