1 Thursday, 30 May 2013
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 4.04 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 This is case IT-03-69-T, the Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic
9 and Franko Simatovic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 This Chamber is sitting today to deliver its judgement in the
12 case of the Prosecutor versus Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.
13 For the purposes of this hearing, the Chamber will briefly
14 summarise its findings. I stress that this is a summary only. The
15 authoritative account of the Chamber's findings can be found in the
16 written judgement, which will be made available at the end of this
18 This case concerns crimes allegedly committed between the
19 1st of April, 1991, and the 31st of December, 1995, against Croats,
20 Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats, and other non-Serb civilians in large
21 areas of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The areas in Croatia were the
22 Serbian Autonomous Area of Krajina, or the SAO Krajina, and the Serbian
23 Autonomous Area of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, or the SAO SBWS.
24 The crimes charged by the Prosecution include persecution, murder,
25 deportation, and forcible transfer.
1 Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic stood trial as alleged
2 participants in a joint criminal enterprise. The alleged objective of
3 this enterprise was the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of
4 non-Serbs from large areas of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. According
5 to the Prosecution, the members of the criminal enterprise sought to
6 accomplish this goal through the commission of the crimes of persecution,
7 murder, deportation, and forcible transfer. Alternatively, the common
8 criminal purposes included the crimes of deportation and forceable
9 transfer, and the crimes of persecution and murder were reasonably
10 foreseeable to the two accused as a possible consequence of the execution
11 of the joint criminal enterprise.
12 In addition to the accused, the Prosecution alleged that members
13 of the joint criminal enterprise included Serb political and military
14 leaders, such as Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Stojicic, Milan Martic,
15 Goran Hadzic, Milan Babic, Radovan Karadzic, and Momcilo Krajisnik,
16 Biljana Plavsic, Zeljko Raznatovic, also known as Arkan.
17 The Prosecution alleged that Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic
18 contributed to the achievement of the objective of the criminal
19 enterprise by their acts or omissions. According to the indictment, the
20 accused shared the intent to further the common criminal purpose.
21 In addition to the charges of individual criminal responsibility
22 for committing crimes as part of a joint criminal enterprise, the
23 indictment charged each accused with having planned, ordered, and/or
24 aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, and/or execution of the
25 alleged crimes.
1 The Prosecution alleged that as of 1991, Jovica Stanisic was the
2 head of the Republic of Serbia's State Security Service, or the DB, and
3 that Franko Simatovic functioned under his direct authority as a DB
4 official throughout the indictment period.
5 According to the indictment, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic
6 participated in the joint criminal enterprise through their interaction
7 with, inter alia, a special unit of the Serbian DB known as the Special
8 Purposes Unit or the Red Berets. In this summary, I will refer to this
9 formation as "the Unit." Stanisic and Simatovic further participated
10 through their interaction with the Skorpions and the Serbian Volunteer
11 Guard, also known as Arkan's men. In this summary, I will refer to the
12 Serbian Volunteer Guard as the SDG.
13 It is alleged that the accused secretly established these groups
14 as special units of the DB for the purpose of undertaking military
15 actions in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the
16 Prosecution, the accused directed the involvement of these units in
17 particular operations in these countries. Furthermore, the accused are
18 alleged to have trained, supplied, financed, and supported them.
19 The Prosecution further alleged that the accused participated in
20 the joint criminal enterprise through their interaction with other Serb
21 forces, including the SAO Krajina police, and that they provided channels
22 of communication between core members of the criminal enterprise
23 throughout the indictment period.
24 During the trial, 95 fact and expert witnesses appeared before
25 the Chamber and almost 5.000 exhibits were admitted into evidence. A
1 large number of witnesses testified with protective measures, aimed at
2 protecting the witnesses' personal safety and security, or that of their
3 family. This was the case for 54 of the 133 witnesses whose evidence the
4 Chamber received. The Chamber also granted applications from Serbia
5 seeking protective measures to secure its national security interests,
6 mostly in relation to redacting parts of exhibits.
7 The Chamber will now give a summary of its findings.
8 In accordance with an agreement between the parties, the Chamber
9 found that there was an armed conflict in the territories of Croatia and
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina that extended throughout the period relevant to the
11 crimes charged in the indictment.
12 Considering that crimes were committed throughout the indictment
13 area over the course of many years and that victims of the crimes were,
14 with few exceptions, non-Serb civilians, the Chamber found beyond a
15 reasonable doubt that there was a widespread attack directed against the
16 non-Serb civilian population in the SAO Krajina, the SAO SBWS, and the
17 indictment municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 The Chamber has considered evidence on a significant number of
19 specific incidents of deportation and forcible transfer. For instance,
20 two witnesses provided evidence on an incident of the 9th of April, 1992,
21 where members of the SDG and other armed men collected at least 90,
22 primarily elderly, Croats and Hungarians from Erdut and put them on buses
23 to Sarvas. In Sarvas, the people were told to walk towards
24 Croat-controlled Osijek, which they did. The Chamber found beyond a
25 reasonable doubt that these perpetrators committed the crime of
1 deportation as a crime against humanity.
2 The Chamber also received evidence relating to the departure of
3 between 80.000 and 100.000 Croats and other non-Serb civilians from the
4 SAO Krajina in 1991 and 1992. The Chamber found that the people fleeing
5 did so as a result of the situation prevailing in the region, which was
6 created by a combination of the following factors: Attacks on villages
7 and towns with Croat population; killings; use of human shields;
8 detention; beatings; forced labour; sexual abuse and other forms of
9 harassment of Croat persons; and looting and destruction of property.
10 Noting that fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological
11 oppression, and other such circumstances may create an environment where
12 there is no choice but to leave, the Chamber found that those who left
13 the SAO Krajina as a result of the circumstances prevailing there were
14 forcibly displaced. Based on the foregoing, the Chamber found that the
15 members of the SAO Krajina, the SAO Krajina Territorial Defence, and the
16 Yugoslav Peoples' Army, or the JNA, among other forces, in carrying out
17 the aforementioned acts of violence and harassment, committed the crime
18 of deportation as a crime against humanity.
19 The Chamber also found that the SDG, the Unit, the SAO Krajina
20 police, and other forces committed the crimes of deportation and forcible
21 transfer at numerous locations in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 throughout the indictment period.
23 The Chamber further received and considered adjudicated facts and
24 evidence on numerous incidents of murder. As an example, the Chamber
25 found that on or about the 20th of October, 1991, members of the
1 SAO Krajina police rounded up local, mainly Croat, civilians and brought
2 them to the fire station in Hrvatska Dubica. The following day, at
3 Krecane, near Bacin, members of the SAO Krajina police shot and killed
4 39 Croat detainees, many of whom were elderly. The Chamber found that
5 members of the SAO Krajina police committed the crime of murder as a
6 crime against humanity and as a violation of the laws and customs of war.
7 The Chamber further found that the SDG, the Unit, the Skorpions,
8 the SAO Krajina police, and other forces committed a large number of
9 murders against Croats, Muslims, and other non-Serbs in Croatia and
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Having examined the evidence and its findings with regard to the
12 incidents of murder, deportation, and forcible transfer, the Chamber
13 found that they had been carried out with discriminatory intent. The
14 Chamber therefore concluded that they constituted persecution as a crime
15 against humanity.
16 The indictment charged the accused with individual criminal
17 responsibility for the crimes of murder, deportation, forcible transfer,
18 and persecution. These charges were based on the accused's alleged
19 participation in a joint criminal enterprise, the object of which was the
20 forcible and permanent removal of the majority of non-Serbs from large
21 areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Chamber will now
22 address whether the aforementioned crimes can be attributed to the
24 The Chamber found that as of the 31st of December, 1991,
25 Jovica Stanisic was the head of the Serbian DB and that Franko Simatovic
1 was employed in the Second Administration of the DB throughout the
2 indictment period.
3 The Chamber has received a substantial amount of evidence
4 regarding the role of the accused vis-a-vis the Unit, other alleged
5 special units of the Serbian DB, and other Serb forces, often from former
6 members of the same formations or through official DB documentation.
7 Turning first to the Unit, also known as the Red Berets and later
8 as the JATD, the Chamber found that in the period from May to
9 August 1991, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic formed a Serbian DB
10 unit consisting of around 25 to 30 persons. From late April or early May
11 to July 1991, Franko Simatovic co-operated with others in the
12 establishment and operation of a training camp at Golubic, where training
13 commenced in May 1991. Following meetings in Belgrade between Martic and
14 Stanisic and between Simatovic and Captain Dragan, instructors
15 Captain Dragan and Dragan Filipovic provided training at Golubic,
16 together with, among others, Zivojin Ivanovic, and upon completion of
17 their training, a number of trainees from Golubic became training
18 instructors themselves.
19 The Chamber found that the training at Golubic was of a military
20 character and included weapons and ambush training, as well as the
21 treatment of prisoners of war and the treatment of civilians in armed
22 conflict. A total of between 350 and 700 members of the SAO Krajina
23 police and the SAO Krajina Territorial Defence were trained at Golubic
24 between April and August 1991. Men who had trained at Golubic set up
25 further units and trained other people in the SAO Krajina. They also
1 participated alongside Simatovic, Captain Dragan, and Zivojin Ivanovic in
2 operations in the SAO Krajina between June and August 1991.
3 The Chamber found that the Golubic camp was the first of a number
4 of similar camps where the Unit trained new recruits and other Serb
5 forces. The Unit also deployed its members the various operations of a
6 military character with the support and under the control of the accused.
7 From late 1991, these camps included the Lezimir camp at Mount
8 Fruska Gora, from where the Unit was deployed to operations in the SBWS
9 in September 1991. In 1992, the camps included the Pajzos camp at Ilok,
10 from where members of the Unit were deployed to participate in the
11 take-over of Bosanski Samac in May 1992, as well as the Mount Ozren and
12 Vila camps, from where members of the Unit were deployed to participate
13 in the Doboj operations in April-July 1992. The Chamber found that
14 members of the Unit committed the crimes of murder, deportation, and
15 forcible transfer in Bosanski Samac municipality and deportation and
16 forcible transfer in Doboj municipality in 1992.
17 In 1993, the Unit's training activities continued at the Tara
18 camp and at the Skelani and Bratunac camps from which the Unit took part
19 in combat and mop-up operations in the Skelani area in March and
20 April 1993, and in the Bratunac area in the first part of 1993. Training
21 of the Unit continued in 1995 at the Bilje camp and the Sova camp and the
22 Pajzos camp.
23 In 1997, the accused attended a ceremony marking the anniversary
24 of the Unit's formation, during which Simatovic raised the Unit's
25 achievements in, as he put it, protecting national security in
1 circumstances where the existence of the Serbian people was directly
2 jeopardised throughout its entire ethnic area. On this occasion,
3 Stanisic presented awards to several members of the Unit.
4 In conclusion, the Chamber found that the accused directed and
5 organised the formation of the Unit, organised its involvement in a
6 number of operations in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and directed and
7 organised its financing, logistical support, and other substantial
8 assistance or support throughout the indictment period. From at least
9 September 1991, the accused were in command of the Unit and controlled
10 its deployment and training activities through leading Unit members. As
11 of August 1993, the Unit formally became a part of the Serbian DB when it
12 was formalised as the JATD.
13 With regard to the other alleged special units of the DB, the
14 Chamber considered that the ties between these formations and the accused
15 were less substantial. For example, the Chamber was unable to conclude
16 that the accused directed or organised the formation of the SDG or the
17 Skorpions, or directed them in any particular operations. Moreover, the
18 Chamber made only a limited number of findings that the accused provided
19 support to these two formations.
20 The Chamber found that the accused, among others, directed and
21 organised the formation of the SAO Krajina police, in co-operation with
22 Milan Martic. Furthermore, they contributed to the financing of the
23 SAO Krajina police in 1990 and 1991, and organised logistical support in
24 the form of weapons and communication equipment between December 1990 and
25 May or June 1991. The Chamber also found the SAO Krajina police
1 committed murders in 1991 and deportation in 1991 and 1992 in the
2 SAO Krajina.
3 The Chamber finally considered the allegations that the accused
4 provided "channels of communication" between and among the core members
5 of the joint criminal enterprise in Belgrade, in the specific regions,
6 and locally, throughout the indictment period. Based on the evidence
7 before it, the Chamber found that the accused were in direct and frequent
8 contact with many of the alleged members of the joint criminal
9 enterprise. It further found that, on occasion, Stanisic acted in a
10 liaison capacity at least in the contacts between Milosevic and Martic,
11 as well as Milosevic and Karadzic. However, the evidence also indicated
12 that there was regular direct contact between Milosevic, Martic,
13 Karadzic, and Babic. The majority, Judge Picard dissenting, did not
14 consider that Jovica Stanisic had acted as a channel of communication.
15 Further, the Chamber could not conclude that Franko Simatovic had acted
16 as a channel of communication between and among core members of the joint
17 criminal enterprise.
18 The Chamber finally considered the question of whether the
19 accused shared the intent of the alleged joint criminal enterprise to
20 forcibly and permanently remove the majority of non-Serbs from large
21 areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through the commission of
22 murder, deportation, forcible transfer, and persecution. For both
23 accused, the Chamber first reviewed direct evidence indicating that they
24 shared the intent. This included evidence on actions taken and words
25 uttered, and in this respect the Chamber paid particular attention to
1 evidence the Prosecution had pointed to in its final trial brief. The
2 Chamber then proceeded to examine what if anything, could be inferred
3 with regard to the intent from the actions by the accused.
4 With regard to Jovica Stanisic, the Prosecution pointed to a few
5 instances of words uttered and actions taken by him that, in its view,
6 would indicate that he shared the intent. For example, according to one
7 witness's testimony, in September 1991 Stanisic arrived at the SAO SBWS
8 government building in Dalj, yelling at people and berating them because
9 Vukovar had not surrendered yet. Stanisic then called a meeting with,
10 among others, Hadzic, representatives of the JNA, and Territorial Defence
11 commanders. Following this meeting, Stanisic returned to Belgrade. The
12 Chamber noted that it had not received evidence about what was discussed
13 at the meeting called by Stanisic. The majority, Judge Picard
14 dissenting, considered that Stanisic's action in relation to Vukovar
15 could reasonably be interpreted as support for a successful military
16 take-over of Vukovar.
17 Having reviewed this and other direct evidence regarding
18 Stanisic's intent, the majority, Judge Picard dissenting, did not
19 consider it sufficient to establish Stanisic's intent to further the
20 alleged common criminal purpose through the commission of crimes.
21 Absent direct evidence, the Chamber examined whether intent could
22 be inferred from Stanisic's actions during the indictment period. In
23 this respect, the Chamber considered in particular the accused's actions
24 in relation to the Unit, the SAO Krajina police, the SDG, and the
1 With regard to the Unit, the Chamber first recalled its findings
2 that this formation had committed the crimes of murder, deportation, and
3 forcible transfer first in Bosanski Samac and then of deportation and
4 forcible transfer in Doboj in 1992. The Chamber had further found that
5 the accused organised the involvement of the Unit in the operations in
6 these municipalities. However, the evidence did not establish that the
7 accused personally directed the Unit during these operations or that they
8 had issued orders or instructions to commit the aforementioned crimes.
9 Nonetheless, given their role vis-a-vis the Unit and the scope of the
10 crimes, the Chamber found that the accused must have known that Unit
11 members had committed crimes in Bosanski Samac and that it may have been
12 reasonably foreseeable to them that Unit members would commit crimes in
13 Doboj. The Chamber further considered the Unit's involvement in other
14 operations for which the accused had organised its involvement. These
15 included reconnaissance activities and operations undertaken in response
16 to military attacks by opposing forces. With the exception of the Doboj
17 and Bosanski Samac operations, the Chamber did not find that Unit members
18 committed crimes during the operations in which they were involved.
19 In conclusion, the majority, Judge Picard dissenting, did not
20 consider that the only reasonable inference from Stanisic's actions with
21 regard to the Unit was that he shared the intent to further the alleged
22 joint criminal enterprise. Similarly, with regard to Stanisic's actions
23 with regard to training of Serb forces, the majority, Judge Picard
24 dissenting, did not consider that the only reasonable inference from the
25 evidence was that he shared the intent to further the alleged joint
1 criminal enterprise.
2 With regard to the SAO Krajina police, the Chamber found that the
3 members of this formation committed murders in the SAO Krajina in 1991
4 and deportation of between 80.000 and 100.000 Croats in the same area in
5 1991 and 1992. The Chamber further found that the accused had been
6 closely involved with the formation, logistical and financial support of
7 the SAO Krajina police. The accused had also co-operated closely with
8 Milan Martic who had authority over this formation and whose intent to
9 deport non-Serbs must have been known to the accused.
10 The Chamber found that in continuing to support the SAO Krajina
11 police and co-operate with Milan Martic from April 1991, Stanisic took
12 the risk that the SAO Krajina police would commit crimes when
13 establishing and maintaining Serb control over large areas of Croatia.
14 However, the Chamber found that knowledge and acceptance of such a risk
15 is insufficient for the first form of joint criminal enterprise
16 liability. The majority, Judge Picard dissenting, did not consider that
17 the only reasonable inference from Stanisic's actions with regard to the
18 SAO Krajina police was that he shared the intent of the alleged joint
19 criminal enterprise.
20 The majority, Judge Picard dissenting, reached the same
21 conclusion concerning Stanisic's actions with regard to the SDG and the
23 In making the foregoing findings, the majority, Judge Picard
24 dissenting, allowed for the reasonable possibility that Stanisic's intent
25 in relation to the Unit, including the training of other Serb forces, the
1 SAO Krajina police, the SDG, and the Skorpions was limited to
2 establishing and maintaining Serb control over large areas of Croatia and
4 Based on the foregoing, the majority, Judge Picard dissenting,
5 could not conclude that the only reasonable inference from the evidence
6 on Stanisic's actions was that he shared the intent to further the common
7 criminal purpose of forcibly and permanently removing the majority of
8 non-Serbs from large areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through
9 the commission of murder, deportation, forcible transfer, and persecution
10 from at least April 1991 through 1995.
11 With regard to Franko Simatovic, the Chamber first considered the
12 evidence with regard to his specific actions or words uttered. In this
13 respect, the Chamber found that Simatovic participated in a discussion of
14 the objectives of the attack on Lovinac which included the objective to
15 have as much of the local population leave as possible in order to
16 establish a purely Serb territory. According to the Chamber, the
17 evidence indicated that Simatovic was at least aware of Martic's intent,
18 and may have shared it, to forcibly remove Croat civilians from the
19 village of Lovinac in June 1991, even if the evidence did not establish
20 whether persons actually left Lovinac during or immediately following the
22 Concerning the Vukovar operations, the Chamber found that
23 Simatovic was present at a meeting prior to, and a celebration following,
24 the fall of Vukovar. Considering that the contents of the meeting was
25 unknown to the Chamber, and noting that members of the Unit did not
1 participate in the attack, the majority, Judge Picard dissenting, allowed
2 as a reasonable interpretation that Simatovic's intent was limited to
3 support for the successful military take-over of Vukovar.
4 The Chamber further considered evidence on Simatovic's acts in
5 relation to other military operations. This evidence indicated that
6 these operations had been military actions directed against opposing
7 forces and it did not indicate that any crimes had been committed during
8 these operations.
9 Based on the foregoing, the majority, Judge Picard dissenting,
10 was unable to conclude from the evidence on Simatovic's actions, that he
11 shared the intent to further the common criminal purpose of forcibly and
12 permanently removing the majority of non-Serbs from large areas of
13 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through the commission of murder,
14 deportation, forcible transfer, and persecution from at least April 1991
15 through 1995.
16 The Chamber then considered the other modes of criminal liability
17 charged by the Prosecution.
18 The Chamber found that the Prosecution had not proven beyond a
19 reasonable doubt that the accused planned or ordered the crimes charged
20 in the indictment.
21 With regard to the allegations of responsibility for aiding and
22 abetting the crimes charged in the indictment, the Chamber primarily
23 considered whether the accused's acts vis-a-vis certain formations, in
24 particular the Unit, aided and abetted any crimes.
25 In this respect, and as stated before, the Chamber found that the
1 accused directed and organised the formation of the Unit between May and
2 August 1991, and that from at least September 1991, the accused were in
3 command of the Unit and controlled its deployment and training activities
4 through leading Unit members who acted on behalf of the accused and were
5 immediately subordinate to them.
6 The Chamber further recalled its findings that the accused
7 organised the Unit's involvement during the Bosanski Samac and Doboj
8 operations in 1992, organised the training of its members at the Doboj
9 and Pajzos camps, and organised their financing. The Chamber found that
10 these contributions of the accused assisted the commission of the crimes
11 in Bosanski Samac and Doboj.
12 The majority, Judge Picard dissenting, considered that the
13 accused's assistance to the Bosanski Samac and Doboj operations, and to
14 the Unit generally, was not specifically directed towards the commission
15 of the crimes of murder, deportation, forcible transfer, or persecution.
16 Rather, it allowed for the reasonable conclusion that the assistance was
17 specifically directed towards establishing and maintaining Serb control
18 over these areas. The majority, Judge Picard dissenting, was thus unable
19 to conclude that the assistance rendered to the Unit by the accused aided
20 and abetted the commission of the crimes in Doboj and Bosanski Samac.
21 The Chamber found that there were certain links, albeit looser
22 when compared to the Unit, between the accused and other groups, for
23 example, with the SAO Krajina police. The accused's contributions
24 vis-a-vis these other groups were of a similar nature, including
25 financing, supplying, organising involvement, supporting, and training.
1 However, the Chamber recalled that in none of the incidents where members
2 of these other groups committed crimes did the accused play any more
3 specific role in providing assistance.
4 Recalling its finding that the kind of assistance rendered to the
5 Unit was insufficient to incur criminal responsibility as an aider and
6 abettor, the majority, Judge Picard dissenting, was unable to conclude
7 that the accused aided and abetted crimes perpetrated by the SDG, the
8 SAO Krajina police, the Skorpions, or other groups.
9 Mr. Stanisic, will you please stand.
10 For the reasons summarised above, the Chamber by majority,
11 Judge Picard dissenting, having considered all of the evidence and the
12 arguments of the parties, the Statute and the Rules, and based upon the
13 factual and legal findings as determined in the judgement, finds you not
14 guilty and therefore acquits you of all counts against you in the
15 indictment. The Chamber orders that you be immediately released from the
16 United Nations Detention Unit after the necessary practical arrangements
17 are made.
18 You may be seated.
19 Mr. Simatovic, will you please stand.
20 For the reasons summarised above, the Chamber by majority,
21 Judge Picard dissenting, having considered all of the evidence and the
22 arguments of the parties, the Statute and the Rules, and based upon the
23 factual and legal findings as determined in the judgement, finds you not
24 guilty and therefore acquits you of all counts against you in the
25 indictment. The Chamber orders that you be immediately released from the
1 United Nations Detention Unit after the necessary practical arrangements
2 are made.
3 You may be seated.
4 A dissenting opinion by Judge Picard and a separate opinion by
5 me, Judge Orie, are appended to the judgement.
6 This concludes the delivery of the judgement, which will now be
7 made publicly available. And the Chamber stands adjourned.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.50 p.m.