PROSECUTION SEEKS HARSHER SENTENCE FOR SREDOJE LUKIC
The prosecution asked the Appeals Chamber to ‘correct the error’ of the Trial Chamber that sentenced Sredoje Lukic to 30 years for ‘aiding and abetting the murder and persecution’ of Muslims from Visegrad and to impose a harsher sentence. The defense countered that the prosecution’s request was ‘totally groundless’
The prosecution urged the Appeals Chamber to ‘correct the error’ of the Trial Chamber that sentenced Sredoje Lukic for ‘aiding and abetting the murder’ of more than 60 Muslim civilians burned in Adem Omeragic’s house in Visegrad and to find him guilty of ‘aiding and abetting extermination’. The prosecution went on to call for an appropriately harsher sentence for Sredoje Lukic. As the prosecution argued, Sredoje Lukic provided ‘significant practical help’ to Milan Lukic and other perpetrators of that ‘heinous crime’. According to the prosecutor, Sredoje Lukic knew that victims would be killed and that his involvement ‘contributed’ to the murder.
In July 2009, Sredoje Lukic was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his part in the ‘living pyre’ in the Pionirska Street and the abuse of Muslims detained in the Uzamnica military prison. Sredoje Lukic’s cousin Milan Lukic was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against Muslims from Visegrad.
Speaking about the second ground of the appeal – torture in the Uzamnica prison camp – the prosecutor recalled the Trial Chamber’s conclusion that Sredoje Lukic ‘severely beat the Muslim detainees in the prison camp and acted with discriminatory intent’. Despite that, the prosecutor noted, Sredoje Lukic was not found guilty as a perpetrator, but only for ‘aiding and abetting persecution’. The prosecution urged the Appeals Chamber to ‘correct the error’ and convict Sredoje Lukic of persecution.
Sredoje Lukic’s defense counsel called the prosecution’s appeal ‘totally groundless’. He invoked the dissenting opinions presented by the judges in the Trial Chamber about the legal qualification of the term ‘extermination’ and about the issue of sufficient evidence for the conviction for ‘aiding and abetting extermination’. The defense also argued that Sredoje Lukic should be acquitted of all charges of aiding and abetting persecution of prisoners in the Uzamnica prison camp.
Milan Lukic then addressed the Appeals Chamber, saying that he was ‘neither a killer nor a fascist’ adding that he, like his cousin Sredoje, was ‘wrongly convicted’. Milan Lukic told the judges of the Appeals Chamber, ‘look into my eyes and face’, asking them ‘do I look like a monster’. Milan Lukic once again blamed the crimes in Visegrad on the municipal and police leaders and false witnesses. ‘Muslims are my brothers and I love them’; Milan Lukic said concluding his address to the judges.
The second-accused Sredoje Lukic distanced himself from his cousin’s words, stressing that only his lawyer and he personally are entitled to speak in his name that it was up to the Appeals Chamber to decide if he was guilty or not.
The Appeals Chamber will render its judgment in ‘due time’.
- Case : Milan Lukic & Sredoje Lukic - "Višegrad"
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