War criminal Sakib Mahmuljin is not serving his jail sentence and is instead undergoing medical treatment in Turkey, his lawyer confirmed earlier this week.
Mahmuljin is the former commander of the Third Corps of the Army in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH), and was sentenced by the Appeal Chamber of the State Court in April this year to eight years in prison for crimes committed in Vozuca and Zavidovici in 1995.
Several organisations in Bosnia’s Serb-majority entity Republika Srpska argue that Mahmuljin escaped the country due to negligence of the judiciary. The State Court has hit back, saying that no prohibition measures have yet been imposed on him, and he has not been sent to serve his sentence.
Mahmuljin’s lawyer, Vasvija Vidovic, confirmed to reporters that he is undergoing treatment in Turkey.
“I provided the documentation that I forwarded to the Court,” Vidovic said.
When asked by reporters, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina said Mahmuljin had not been sent to serve his prison sentence, and that it had been informed via his lawyer that the war criminal was receiving treatment in Turkey.
The court said it was investigating the allegations, and that it will take adequate legal action in the course of the referral procedure.
“The court notes that, during the criminal proceedings until the end of the proceedings, no prohibition measures were imposed on the convicted person,” it said.
Milorad Kojic, director of the Center for Research on War, War Crimes and the Search for Missing Persons of Republika Srpska, said that by failing to impose measures prohibiting a convicted war criminal from leaving Bosnia, and also not issuing a referral act for serving his sentence after the second-instance verdict, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina had enabled Mahmuljin to escape “under the pretext of treatment.”
Kojic said that even under this verdict, Mahmuljin should have asked the Court for permission to go to another country for treatment.
“If the reference act was passed in accordance with the law, the person who was sentenced with final force, Mahmuljin, could have asked for a postponement of the execution of the sentence due to health reasons, which is decided by the Court. In this case, he has already informed the Court that he is in Turkey,” explained Kojic.
Kojic called on the Court to request Mahmuljin’s extradition from Turkey with an international warrant.
“This is a classic escape with the aim of avoiding serving an eight-year sentence,” he said.
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