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Alleged victims found alive, but court rejects new trial for Serb

June 15, 1997

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ A Sarajevo court rejected a plea to give a Bosnian Serb a new trial even though two of the three men he was convicted of killing have been found alive, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Sretko Damjanovic was found guilty of war crimes and genocide, and sentenced to death in March 1993 for killing two Muslim brothers, Kasim and Asim Blekic, and a third man as the Bosnian war broke out. He is jailed in Sarajevo.

Damjanovic’s lawyer Branko Maric, found the Blekic brothers alive in 1996 and appealed for a new trial.

The Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje said prosecutor Domin Malbasic agreed to a new trial, but that Malbasic since had been replaced. The new prosecutor, Munib Bisic, recommended that the court reject the appeal. A three-judge panel led by Judge Dzenana Latic went along with Bisic’s recommendation, the paper said.

Damjanovic had been accused by co-defendant Borislav Herak of killing the Blekic brothers and four other people. Herak was the only one who provided evidence against Damjanovic.

In addition to the Blekic brothers, Damjanovic also was convicted of killing Ramiz Krso. A different man, Nebojsa Spiric, said in an interview on Bosnian Serb TV that he killed Krso.

Maric has indicated he would appeal an unfavorable ruling to the Supreme Court.

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