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Case name


Case number

KTO 9/13

Number of victims


Persons indicted

Defendants: 2 convicted; 3 acquitted of charges

Rank(s) of person(s) indicted

lower military

Indictment date

Case stage

finally adjudicated

Duration of proceedings since trial commencement

2 years 10 months

Witnesses examined


Date and outcome of the first instance verdict

First-instance judgment:
The first-instance court rendered its judgment in this case on 26 June 2015. Defendants AA and AB were sentenced to respective prison terms of 9 and 15 years, whereas defendants AV, AG and AD were acquitted of charges.

According to the president of the court chamber – part of the Belgrade Higher Court’s War Crimes Department, the Sotin case has not been fully resolved by the judgment pronounced as the case involves two more suspects – Ž. J. and G. P., whose respective places of residence are in Australia and Canada. In view of their unavailability to Serbia’s judicial authorities, proceedings against the two have been discontinued.

Date and outcome of decision on appeal

first instance judgment confirmed

Date and outcome of verdict in new trial

Criminal offence

War crime against civilian population under art. 142 (1) re art. 22 (co-perpetration) of the FRY Criminal Act: AA (collaborator) - items 1, 2 and 3 of the indictment; AB - items 1 and 3; AV and AG - item 3;
War crime against civilian population under art. 142 (1) in re art. 24 (aiding and abetting) of the FRY Criminal Act: AD

Background facts

Background facts:
According to the indictment allegations, the accused, at the relevant time members of the Sotin Territorial Defence force, local police and Yugoslav People’s Army, engaged in the killing of 16 Croat civilians in Sotin, a village in the area of Vukovar, Croatia over the period between October and late December 1991. In April 2013, death remains of 13 victims were found in a mass grave site outside Sotin.

Procedural remarks

Procedural remarks:
The indictment in this case was largely based on the testimony of AA, the accused witness collaborator, who concluded a guilty plea agreement with the Prosecutor in July 2013. The agreement – including the nine-year prison penalty as proposed by the Prosecutor – was fully accepted by the Higher Court.

The Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor obtained evidence in this case from the County Public Prosecutor’s Office in Osijek. Evidence and information about activities related to the Sotin case were exchanged on the basis of the Agreement on Cooperation in Prosecuting War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and Genocide, signed between the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor and Croatian State Prosecutor. The exchange also revealed that three persons potentially involved in the Sotin crime, namely J.M., V.V. and B.K. (formerly indicted by the Vukovar County Prosecutor) had in the meantime deceased.

In the course of its investigation into the Sotin crime, the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor’s Office obtained information about the location of the grave site containing the death remains of the Croat civilians killed in Sotin near Vukovar in 1991. Seeking to confirm the authenticity of the information, the Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor’s team – in cooperation with the Office of the Croatian State Prosecutor and with the assistance of the two countries’ commissions on missing persons – was able to conduct a search operation in the Vukovar area and eventually find the death remains of the Sotin victims.