The second-instance verdict was delivered on 15 July, and upheld a January decision to acquit Koroman of the unlawful detention of Bosniak civilians at the police’s Public Security Station in Pale. Civilians were also held in a gym, where they were abused, tortured and killed, from April to September 1992.
At the time of the abuses, Koroman was the chief of the Public Security Station in Pale.
“No causal link between Koroman, as the chief, and the unlawful detention of civilians has been established,” said the presiding judge Mediha Pasic in explaining January’s first-instance acquittal, “nor has it been determined that he enabled members of the army to bring the civilians [to the detention facilities].”
The state court found that prosecutors had not proved that the Public Security Station had its own special police unit, whose members were purportedly under Koroman’s command.
Pasic confirmed that the court found indisputable evidence that there were facilities in Pale where civilians were detained unlawfully, and that some of those detained died as a result of their treatment there.
Even so, Pasic said the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Koroman organised and assisted these war crimes.
The war court also found there was insufficient evidence to prove Koroman took part in an attack on civilians in a number of villages in the Pale area on 27 May 1992, during which 35 men were taken away to be detained in the gym in Pale.
Koroman’s acquittal was first handed down in January of this year. This week’s second instance ruling cannot be appealed.
The Bosnian war came about as a result of the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. According to ICRC data, some 200,000 people were killed as a result of the conflict, including 12,000 children.
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