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Parties to Appeal Judgement Against Bosnian Army Commanders

TU No 449, 21-Apr-06
In their own so-called notice of appeal, prosecutors object that the sentences handed down to the two men are "manifestly inadequate". The tribunal's president Judge Fausto Pocar granted early release to Kubura on April 11. He had already been in custody for nearly two and a half years by the time the judgement was issued against him.

The prosecution also say they want Kubura's acquittal on a charge of wanton destruction in the town of Vares overturned.

And they object to the judges' finding that "summary disciplinary measures" are sufficient for it to be considered that a commander has punished a particular crime. This error, they warn, could set a dangerous precedent in the jurisprudence of the tribunal.

In arguing that Kubura's convictions should be overturned, his defence team say the trial chamber made a number of errors, including coming to the misguided conclusion that the perpetrators of certain acts were his subordinates and that he new particular crimes had been committed.

Hadzihasanovic's lawyers also argue that their client should be acquitted on all counts. They claim the judges hearing the case made a series of errors which led to the trial being unfair. This is said to have included not considering evidence which might be favourable to the accused, systematically questioning witnesses in such a way as to suggest a degree of impartiality and admitting documents into evidence without giving the defence an opportunity to challenge them.

Hadzihasanovic's defence team also say the chamber gave undue weight to particular witnesses and pieces of evidence which should not have been taken seriously, and ignored essential evidence given by defence witnesses.

Their other objections include arguing that the judges came to a series of misguided conclusions based on the evidence before them.

Following the filing of these notices of appeal, the next step is for each of the parties to submit an appellant's brief, which goes into more detail about the objections being made.

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