Serbian Court Dismisses Appeals by Imprisoned Croatian Football Fans

By 16 August 2018

ZAGREB, August 16, 2018 - The magistrate's appellate court in Belgrade said on Wednesday it had dismissed appeals lodged by Croatian Hajduk football club fans, upholding a verdict sentencing them to 15 days in prison and subsequent banishment from Serbia.

Fourteen Croatian supporters were sentenced for breaching the law on public peace and order through rude and reckless behaviour and causing incidents at a petrol station outside Belgrade.

Eight appealed the sentence. Seven appeals were dismissed and one was upheld, filed by a minor, who was immediately released from prison, the Tanjug news agency said.

They were arrested returning from a game in Sofia, Bulgaria. On August 4, the Belgrade magistrate's court sent them to prison as an appeal against the verdict did not delay execution of the sentence. They were also banished from Serbia for one year, which will go into force once they serve their sentence.

Another 13 Croatian football fans arrested in the case made a deal with the prosecution, pleading guilty to stealing 1,700 worth euro of goods at said petrol station outside Belgrade while on their way to Bulgaria. They were given a suspended sentence of six months with two years' probation and banished from Serbia for two years.