Prosecutor’s Office v. Ćerim Novalić

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In September 1992, during the Bosnian War, the Army of BiH attacked Serb houses in the village of Džepi. During this assault, Ćerim Novalić and an unidentified soldier entered a home to see if the couple was hiding Serbs. While the unidentified soldiers interrogated the husband about his neighbors of Serb ethnicity, Novalić forced the wife into an upstairs room and raped her. In 2010, the Court of BiH found Novalić guilty of a War Crime against a Civilian under Article 173(1) of the CC BiH and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment. The following year, a panel of the Appellate Division of the Court of BiH revised Novalić’s conviction, finding him guilty under Article 142(1) of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the law in effect at the time of Novalić’s crime. The Appellate Panel considered the “extremely humiliating manner” in which Novalić raped the victim – her underage children and mother-in-law were in an adjacent room and her husband was downstairs – and increased his sentence to eight years and six months imprisonment. This is the upper-end of the typical prison sentence mandated by the Court of BiH for one count of rape during the Bosnian War.

Second revised verdict available in English here.



Avon Center work product