The Appeals Chamber today affirmed the sentence of life imprisonment for Milan Lukić, and reduced, Judge Pocar and Judge Liu dissenting, the sentence for Sredoje Lukić from 30 to 27 years of imprisonment. Both Accused were convicted for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Višegrad in 1992 and 1993.
The Appeals Chamber today dismissed all of Milan Lukić’s eight grounds of appeal, except for two sub-grounds of appeal. First, the Appeals Chamber replaced the Trial Chamber’s finding that 59 victims were killed when Milan Lukić set the house of Adem Omeragić on Pionirska Street on fire, with the finding that 53 victims were killed in this incident. Moreover, the Appeals Chamber held that the Trial Chamber had not adequately evaluated how the involvement of some of the Prosecution witnesses with the Women Victims of War Association impacted on these witnesses’ credibility. The Appeals Chamber found, however, that those two errors did not impact the judgement.
The Appeals Chamber dismissed, by majority, most of Sredoje Lukić’s 15 grounds of appeal. The Appeals Chamber upheld, by majority, his convictions in relation to the Pionirska Street Incident. Judge Morrison dissented with respect to the Majority’s finding to confirm Sredoje Lukić’s convictions for having aided and abetted crimes committed on Pionirska Street. Judge Güney dissented in relation to the Majority’s finding to uphold his convictions for the crimes committed in Adem Omeragić’s house on Pionirska Street. The Appeals Chamber, Judge Pocar and Judge Liu dissenting, partially granted two grounds of appeal, reversing all Sredoje Lukic’s convictions for the beatings of detainees in the Uzamnica Camp. Consequently, the Appeals Chamber, Judge Pocar and Judge Liu dissenting, reduced his sentence by 3 years. All other grounds of Sredoje Lukić’s appeal were dismissed or declared moot by the Majority.
The Prosecution raised two grounds of appeal pertaining to the convictions of Sredoje Lukić and requested that his sentence be increased. The Appeals Chamber rejected the Prosecution’s first ground of appeal and declared moot the second ground of appeal.
On 20 July 2009 Trial Chamber had sentenced Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić to life imprisonment and 30 years’ imprisonment, respectively. Milan Lukić was found guilty of extermination, murder, persecutions, and other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity, and murder and cruel treatment as violations of the laws or customs of war. Sredoje Lukić was found guilty of murder, persecutions, and other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity, and murder and cruel treatment as violations of the laws or customs of war.
At trial, Milan Lukić was convicted in relation to six distinct incidents, including the killing of five Muslim civilian men at the Drina River on or about 7 June 1992 and the killing of seven Muslim civilian men at the Varda factory in Višegrad on or about 10 June 1992. Milan Lukić was also found guilty of the murder of Hajra Korić and of the beatings of Muslim detainees in the Uzamnica Camp. He was also found responsible for the murder of a group of Muslim women, children, and elderly men in the house of Adem Omeragić on Pionirska Street in Višegrad on 14 June 1992, where the victims were locked into one room of the house which was then set on fire by Milan Lukić. He was found to have shot at people trying to escape from the burning house. Milan Lukic was further found guilty of the murder of at least 60 Muslim civilians in a house in the Bikavac settlement of Višegrad on or about 27 June 1992. The Trial Chamber established that Milan Lukić was present throughout this incident, shot at the house, threw grenades into it, and subsequently set the house on fire. The affirmation of Milan Lukić’s sentence is the first time the Appeals Chamber has upheld a sentence of life imprisonment.
At trial, Sredoje Lukić was convicted in relation to the events on Pionirska Street and at the Uzamnica Camp.
Milan Lukić and Sredoje Lukić were indicted on 26 October 1998. Milan Lukić was transferred to the Tribunal on 21 February 2006. Sredoje Lukić was transferred to the Tribunal on 16 September 2005. Their trial commenced on 9 July 2008.
Since its establishment the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 130 individuals have been concluded.