Pero Petrasevic was arrested in June 2005, days after the video footage was shown at the trial of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague.
The Prosecutor of the Serbian War Crimes Chamber in Belgrade brought charges against him and four others (The Medic brothers Slobodan, Aleksandar and Branislav Medic, as well as Aleksandar Vukov,( see “related cases“) in October 2005.
Their trial began on 20 December 2005 in Belgrade.
Petrasevic refused to enter a plea, but said he would stand by the statement he made during the investigation, when he confessed to participating in the crime. In that statement, read before the court on 21 December, Petrasevic said he had fired the first shot at the captives.
Petrasevic further said his orders had come directly from the Scorpion’s commander and primary defendant, Slobodan Medic (see “related cases“), who had not been present at the scene of the execution. According to him, it was also Slobodan Medic who had ordered the recording of the execution with a video camera. Medic wanted the execution to be filmed so he could show it to his superiors, who were responsible ultimately for ordering the slaying, Petrasevic said. He did not however specify who these superiors were.
The Defence lawyers argued in vain that the video footage be excluded from the evidence provided to the court , since it was not an original and therefore should not be allowed by law.
On 10 April 2007 Petrasevic was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment: This was a shorter sentence than for the other defendants because of his confession, cooperation with the prosecution and demonstration of remorse.
Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.