ICTY: Retrial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović

Jovica Stanišić and Franko SimatovićThe Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), quashed the Trial Chamber’s decision to acquit Jovica Stanišić, formerly Deputy Chief and Chief of the State Security Service (SDB) of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, and Franko Simatović, formerly Deputy Chief of the Second Administration of the Serbian SDB and special advisor in the SDB. The Appeals Chamber ordered that Stanišić and Simatović be retried on all counts of the indictment.

In the indictment, the Prosecution alleged that between April 1991 and 31 December 1995, Stanišić and Simatović participated in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE) whose purpose was the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of non-Serbs, principally Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and Bosnian Croats from large areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The indictment alleged that the JCE involved the commission of murder and crimes against humanity. Stanišić and Simatović were also charged with having planned, ordered and/or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation and/or execution of the crimes alleged in the indictment.

On 30 May 2013, the Trial Chamber found that many of the crimes alleged in the indictment were indeed perpetrated by various Serb Forces. However, the Trial Chamber found neither Stanišić nor Simatović responsible for committing these crimes through participation in a JCE as it found that it was not established beyond reasonable doubt that they possessed the requisite intent to further the common criminal purpose. The Trial Chamber also found that it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Stanišić or Simatović planned or ordered these crimes and, by majority, that they aided and abetted these crimes. Based on the above, the Trial Chamber, by majority, acquitted Stanišić and Simatović under all counts of the indictment.

As a consequence of the Appeals Chamber’s Judgement, the detention of Stanišić and Simatović was ordered at the United Nations Detention Unit in The Hague.