War Criminal’s Escape Outrages Bosnian Serb Victims Associations

Sakib Mahmuljin, the former commander of the Third Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ABiH, was sentenced by the Appeal Chamber of the State Court in April to eight years in prison for crimes committed in 1995 in Vozuca and Zavidovici.

But he is not serving his jail sentence and is instead undergoing medical treatment in Turkey, his lawyer confirmed to BIRN. 

While some organizations from Bosnia's Serb-majority entity Republika Srpska believe Mahmuljin escaped due to the negligence of the judiciary, the State Court says that no prohibition measures were imposed on him and that he was not sent to serve his sentence.

Mahmuljin's lawyer, Vasvija Vidovic, confirmed to BIRN that he is undergoing treatment in Turkey. "I provided the documentation that I forwarded to the Court," Vidovic said.

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, asked by BIRN, clarified that Mahmuljin was not sent to serve a prison sentence, and that it was informed through his lawyer that he was undergoing treatment in Turkey.  

It said it was investigating the allegations, and that in the course of the referral procedure, will take adequate legal action.

"The court notes that, during the criminal proceedings until the end of the proceedings, no prohibition measures were imposed on the convicted person," its answer stated.

Milorad Kojic, director of the Center for Research on War, War Crimes and the Search for Missing Persons of Republika Srpska, told BIRN that by not imposing any measures prohibiting people from leaving Bosnia, but also by not issuing a referral act for serving the sentence after the second-instance verdict, the Court enabled Mahmuljin "to escape under the pretext of treatment".

He said that even after this verdict,...

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