Simatović and Stanišić each sentenced to 12 years in prison for war crimes

International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals will give judgement on Serbian secret police chiefs Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic.

Source: Tanjug
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Foto: EPA/Michael Kooren/REUTERS POOL
Foto: EPA/Michael Kooren/REUTERS POOL

The media reported that Stanisic and Simatovic were sentenced to 12 years in prison each.

The prosecution proved that the crimes in the indictment were confirmed. The killings and forcible transfers were carried out with discriminatory intent.

The prosecution alleges that the accused participated in the organization of the crimes that took place.

"This case has a long history, the procedure began 18 years ago when the accused were indicted, and they were transferred to the Hague tribunal," the judge said. In its closing arguments, the Hague Prosecution requested that the court sentence them to life in prison, and the defense requested their release again.

Stanisic, a former Deputy Chief and Chief of the State Security Service (DB) of the Serbian Interior Ministry, and Simatovic, previously employed in the Second Directorate of the DB of Serbia, are accused of leading, organizing, equipping, training, arming and financing special units of secret service and other Serb forces involved in the killings, persecution, deportation and forcible transfer of non-Serb civilians from large areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period between 1991 and 1995.

The indictment filed on July 10, 2008 before the Hague Tribunal remained valid at the retrial before the International Residual Mechanism.

The indictment alleges that Stanisic and Simatovic were co-perpetrators in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE) that arose in April 1991 at the latest and lasted at least until December 31, 1995.

It is stated that the aim of this JCE was to forcibly and permanently remove the majority of the non-Serb population from large areas in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are charged with four counts of crimes against humanity: persecution, murder, deportation and inhumane acts, as well as one count of violations of the laws or customs of war - murder.

After the first trial in 2013, the Trial Chamber of the Hague Tribunal determined that Stanišić and Simatović could not be held criminally responsible for the crimes they were accused of, so it acquitted them of all charges.

Following an appeal by the Hague Prosecutor, on 15 December 2015, the Appeals Chamber of the Tribunal quashed this first instance verdict and ordered that their trial be repeated. The retrial began before the Mechanism on 13 June 2017. During the trial, 51 prosecution witnesses and 29 witnesses for both indictees were examined, the Mechanism said in a statement.

Simatovic and Stanisic were arrested on March 13, 2003 in Serbia. Simatovic was transferred to The Hague on May 30, and Stanisic on June 11, 2003.

War Crimes