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Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Predrag Kujundžić

Court Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Section I for War Crimes, Appellate Division, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Case number X-KRŽ-07/442
Decision title Second Instance Verdict
Decision date 4 October 2010
  • Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Predrag Kujundžić
Categories Crimes against humanity
Keywords Crimes against humanity; murder; deportation; enslavement; illegal detention; inhumane acts; rape; sexual violence; torture; Percin disco camp; Doboj municipality
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Predrag Kujundžić was born on 30 January 1961 in the village of Suho Polje in the municipality of Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kujundžić was the commander of the Predini vukovi military unit, which functioned as part of the army of the Republika Srpska.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina alleged that on 12 June 1992, Kujundžić occupied the village of Čivčije Bukovačke, and subsequently blew up the village’s mosque, plundered and set on fire some houses, and ordered that all Bosniak men gathered in front of the village’s culture center. After the men (160 in total) were gathered, they were exposed to a several hours’ long physical and mental abuse by Kujundžić and his unit members. Subsequently, all men were taken to the Perčin disco camp located in the place of Vila in the Doboj municipality, where they were confined on inadequate premises and exposed to every-day abuses by various groups of soldiers who could freely enter the camp. 

On 4 October 2010, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found Kujundžić guilty and sentenced him to 17 years imprisonment.

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Procedural history

On 10 October 2007, Predrag Kujundžić was arrested, and on 11 October 2007, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Court of BiH) ordered one-month custody for Kujundžić.

On 26 December 2007, an indictment was issued against Kujundžić for crimes against humanity, including murder, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, rape, and other inhuman acts. The indictment was amended on 29 May 2009.

On 3 January 2008, the indictment was confirmed.

On 11 January 2008, Kujundžić pleaded not guilty to all counts of the indictment.

On 16 April 2008, the trial commenced.

On 30 October 2009, the Trial Panel of Section I for War Crimes of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered the first-instance verdict. The Trial panel found Kujundžić guilty of crimes against humanity against the non-Serb population in the municipality of Doboj in 1992, and sentenced him to 22 years of long-term imprisonment.

Both the Prosecution and the Defence appealed the verdict. The Prosecution requested the revocation of the part of the verdict acquitting Kujundžić of charges that he wounded an underage person, and killed another underage person, and that he had command responsibility related to acts of torture committed against civilians in the Perčin disco camp. In addition, the Prosecution requested the pronouncement of a longer sentence. The Defence called on the Court to revoke the verdict and to order a retrial before the Appellate Chamber.

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Related developments

On 28 January 2011, by a second-instance verdict, the Court of BiH upheld the first-instance verdict of the Trial Panel of 30 October 2009 in its acquitting part while the conviction and the sentencing part were modified. The Court found Predrag Kujundžić guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 17 years imprisonment.

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Legally relevant facts

Kujundžić was the commander of the Predini vukovi military unit (also known as “Predo’s Wolves”), which until July 1992 was operating as part of the army and later as part of the police of the so-called Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, later Republika Srpska. Kujundžićwas charged with committing, inciting, aiding and abetting murders, enforced sexual slavery, rapes, severe deprivations of physical liberty, persecution, and other inhumane acts. The alleged crimes were directed against the non-Serb population of the Doboj municipality and were committed between spring 1992 and autumn 1993. During this period, the army and the police of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the paramilitary formations, directed attacks against non-Serb civilians.

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Core legal questions

Did the Trial Panel commit a mistake of fact or law?

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Specific legal rules and provisions

Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2003:

  • Article 29 - Accomplices

  • Article 30 - Incitement

  • Article 31 - Accessory

  • Article 56 - Credit for the Period Spent in Custody and Credit for Punishment under an Earlier Sentence

  • Article 172(1)(a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), and (k) - Crimes against Humanity

  • Article 180(1) and (2) - Individual Criminal Responsibility

Criminal Procedure Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2006:

  • Article 198(2) - Ruling on the Claims under Property Law

  • Article 284(c) - Verdict Acquitting the Accused

  • Article 295(1)(b) and (c) - Contents of Appeal and Removing the Shortcomings of the Appeal

  • Article 297 - Essential Violations of the Criminal Procedure Provisions

  • Article 299(1) - Incorrectly or Incompletely Established Facts

  • Article 306 - Limits in Reviewing the Verdict

  • Article 310(1) - Decisions on the Appeal

  • Article 314 - Revision of the First Instance Verdict

  • Article 315(1)(a) - Revoking the First Instance Verdict
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Court's holding and analysis

The Appellate Panel confirmed the acquittal for the charges of murder of a minor and of wounding another minor on 10 May 1992 by shooting at Bosnian Muslims (Bosniak) when they were trying to escape the attack on their village. The Panel also confirmed the acquittal for command responsibility for the torture and inhumane treatment of detainees on 19 July 1992 at the Perčin disco camp (paras. 194-198).

Furthermore, the Panel acquitted Kujundžić of the accusation that he failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the taking out of the detainees of the Perčin disco camp as a human shield, because he was not present and it had not been proven that he was aware of the plan to take out the detainees, and that he was indeed able to prevent these acts (para. 142).

The Panel modified the conviction and the sentencing part. In respect of the conviction, the Panel held that the Trial Panel had incorrectly decided that Kujundžić directly participated in the attack on Grapska, in the forcible resettlement, and in the separation of men from women and children. There was no evidence to prove that his acts reached the degree of decisive contribution. Therefore, the Panel decided that Kujundžić acted only as an accessory (paras. 80-83).

The Panel found Kujundžić guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 17 years imprisonment.  

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Instruments cited

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Additional materials

Case Information - Predrag Kujundžić’, Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

‘Predrag Kujundzic’, TRIAL.

Predrag Kujundžić Osuđen Na 17 Godina Zatvora’,

‘Predrag Kujundžić osuđen na 17 godina zatvora’, MOJEVIJESTI, 28 January 2011.

Predrag Kujundiz Sentenced to 17 Years In Prison’, Justice Report, 28 January 2011.

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Social media links

‘Predrag Kujundžić osuđen na 17 godina zatvora’, Danas Info, 28 January 2011.

V. Šarić, ‘Bosnian Serb Police Service in Army Explored’, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 27 May 2011.