"Excuse me, do you want to kill me, rape me, or just rob me": Serbs will be able to defend their property and life from thieves. A case which was a turning point (SURVEY)
The practice to judge after a principle "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" will stop
Night. The wife is putting the child to sleep, and suddenly, there is some sound coming from the other room. She frantically calls for her husband, he goes to the kitchen and he grabs a knife and he follows the sound of someone's steps in his apartment. He meets the thief face to face. The thief pointed the flashlight to him and he couldn't see anything, he just started swinging the knife. The flashlight fell down. The thief was wounded and he later died.
Fight for your life in Belgrade: A thief hit her in the chest and ripped the necklace from her neck, he became even crueler when he saw her arm
Should the man who killed a thief in self-defense, while protecting his wife and child in the middle of the night, be sentenced to prison? Serbian judiciary has said NO, which was unprecedented so far. The man from the story was Sasko Bogeski, the first person in Serbia who has been acquitted of murdering a burglar. Thanks to this case, we can expect a broader interpretation of necessary defense in the criminal law from now on, said the lawyers.
The practice so far "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth". For example, the burglar entered someone's apartment in the middle of the night, and he found the owner awake, but he didn't attack. The owner, scared, seeing the unknown person, grabbed the first thing that was close to him and threw it to the burglar's head. Before Bogerski case, this owner of the apartment had no chances. A judge would estimate that there were no needs for him to defend himself because the burglar didn't attack yet. Any logical excuse that the owner was terrified, afraid for his life and that he instinctively wanted to protect himself wouldn't be any good. Simply put, the law states that the necessary defense is possible only when the attack started and while it lasts.
However, a respectable lawyer from Belgrade Toma Fila said for Telegraf.rs that the Law doesn't have to change, only the interpretation of the prosecution.
- The prosecution measured these kinds of cases with pharmacy scales, but I think that the case Bogerski created a turning point and the broader interpretations will be allowed. The regulations shouldn't be changed, we should change the habits of our judiciary. The Bogeski case is the example that it can be done - Fila said.
The previous way was insane, and one of his former clients show that. He ended up on the indictment bench together with the thief who tried to rob him, the problem was that he was sitting as the offender and the thief as a victim.
The paradox of the rigid interpretation of the necessary defense is that we should ask the thief what are his intentions so that we will know what to do.
- I should ask the thief, are you going to rape me, kill me, or just rob me", so I will know whether to gently push you or to hit you powerfully. Absolutely ridiculous. The case Bogeski will certainly stop that kind of practice and it will bring us closer to American interpretations, where each man has the right to defend its life and property when they see a thief on their property - said Fila.
The lawyer Sava Andjelkovic, thinks the same thing. However, he mentions that Serbia is still in a big transition phase and that there are no constant criteria in this area, and that the changes in the law are possible.
- People are forced to defend themselves. So we should work on partial change of the law, or to take a stand to equalize the human rights, because the social dangers of this criminal act are great and they are increasing. By taking the certain attitude, we would no longer have the situation to have trials lasting for up to five years, as was the case with Bogeski.
What would you do if someone broke in your home?
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(Telegraf.co.uk / M. Leskovac / email@example.com)
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