Registry and Chambers:
Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:
Trial Chamber II today convicted seven former high-ranking Bosnian Serb military and police officials of a range of crimes committed in 1995 in relation to the fall of the enclaves of Srebrenica and Žepa, eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Vujadin Popović, the Chief of Security of the Drina Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) and Ljubiša Beara, Chief of Security in the VRS Main staff were found guilty of genocide, extermination, murder and persecution and sentenced to life imprisonment. Drago Nikolić, the Chief of Security in the Zvornik Brigade, was found guilty of aiding and abetting genocide, extermination, murder and persecution and sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment. Ljubomir Borovčanin, Deputy Commander of the Special Police Brigade of the police forces was convicted of aiding and abetting extermination, murder, persecution and forcible transfer under Article 7(1) of the Statute and, as a superior, of murder as a crime against humanity and as a violation of the laws of customs of war under Article (3). He was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment. Radivoje Miletić, the Chief of the Administration for Operations and Training at the VRS Main Staff was found guilty of murder by majority, persecution and inhumane acts. He was sentenced to 19 years’ imprisonment. Milan Gvero, the Assistant Commander for Moral, Legal and Religious Affairs of the VRS Main Staff, was found guilty of persecution and inhumane acts and acquitted of the two counts of murder and that of deportation. He was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment. Vinko Pandurević, Commander of the Zvornik Brigade, was found guilty of aiding and abetting murder, persecution and inhumane acts. He was acquitted of charges of genocide, extermination and deportation. He was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.
A copy of the summary of the Judgement is available on the Tribunal’s website.
Last Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Judge Kimberley Prost as Ombudsperson to the Security Council Sanctions Committee which oversees sanctions against the Taliban and Al-Qaida. Judge Prost will assist the Committee in its consideration of requests received from individuals and entities to be removed from the Committee’s consolidated list of people facing sanctions. Sworn-in as an ICTY ad litem Judge on 3 July 2006, Judge Prost was, among other duties, assigned to the Chamber which heard the Popović and others case.
In the trial of Gotovina and others, the Prosecution case reopened on 2 June and resumes tomorrow, 10 June at 9:00 in Courtroom II. Three witnesses have testified so far, at first in private session. On 7 June, an order was issued by Trial Chamber I lifting the confidentiality of these first three witnesses who were Jozo Bilobrk, Željko Mikulić and Antonio Gerovac.
In the case of Momčilo Perišić, hearings were adjourned on 1 June and will resume on 14 June at 14:15 in Courtroom II.
An administrative hearing in the case of Vojislav Šešelj will be held next Monday, 14 June at 15:00 in Courtroom I.
Hearings in the trial of Zdravko Tolimir, Radovan Karadžić, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović as well as Mićo Stanišić and Stojan Župljanin continue this week and next as scheduled.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Olga Kavran, Spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor, made the following statement:
On Monday, 14 June, Prosecutor Serge Brammertz will be in Luxembourg where he will attend the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union at the invitation of EU High Representative Baroness Catherine Ashton. During an informal meeting, the Prosecutor will provide EU Foreign Ministers an update on the work of the Office of the Prosecutor with special emphasis on cooperation of States of the former Yugoslavia. On Friday, 18 June, the Prosecutor will be in New York where he will brief the United Nations Security Council on the report of the Office of the Prosecutor on the completion strategy.
Asked if OTP would appeal the judgement today in the Popović et al. case, Kavran answered that it was too early to say since the Prosecution would first have to study the judgement in full to determine whether or not to appeal legal or factual findings.
Kavran stated that the Office of the Prosecutor welcomed the judgement in the case against Popović et al. in which the Trial Chamber confirmed that the Bosnian Serb Forces committed genocide against the Muslims of Srebrenica in July 1995. The OTP was pleased that the Chamber has found each of the seven accused guilty based on the evidence the Prosecution presented against them, added Kavran.