In May 1993, during the Bosnian War, Velibor Bogdanović, a member of the Croatian Defence Council, and five unidentified soldiers ransacked the home of a couple in Mostar. The group stole jewelry from the home and took the husband to the local prison where he was unlawfully detained for 30 days. In addition, Bogdanović raped the wife. In 2011, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (“BiH”) found Bogdanović guilty of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 173(1), as read together with Article 180(1) and Article 29, of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina (“CC BiH”). In July 2015, the Constitutional Court of BiH overturned Bogdanović’s conviction, finding that it had been based on an inapplicable law. And in September 2015, the Appellate Division of the Court of BiH revised Bogdanović’s sentence, finding him guilty of the criminal offense of War Crimes against Civilians under Article 142(1) of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. The Court imposed the minimum sentence on Bogdanović – five years imprisonment – reasoning that the accused was a married father, that he had been 22-years-old at the time that he committed the crime, that he had committed no criminal offense since the war, and that he had apologized to the victim after the war and offered her assistance.
Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Bogdanović