The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network has launched a unique database of the publicly-available final verdicts delivered in 386 war crimes cases by courts in the former Yugoslavia and by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.
This War Crimes Verdicts Map is an interactive tool intended to provide an overview of court rulings on the crimes that were committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
“While reporting on war crimes, we as journalists often struggled to get all the documents related to the war crimes cases we have been following. Through the years, we accumulated a significant archive and then also collected verdicts from the various courts,” said the map project’s team leader, Marija Ristic.
“Bearing in mind how closed to the public our courts still are, we believe this map will be a unique resource for journalists, students, researchers and the general public,” she added.
According to the map data, so far at least 646 people have been convicted by local courts and 83 more by the ICTY for crimes committed during almost a decade of conflict in the former Yugoslavia which left some 125,000 people dead and 12,000 still missing.
Besides the verdicts, the ‘Resources’ section includes indictments and other case records.
The map will be periodically updated.
Today, the Paris Court of Appeal ruled to extradite Radomir Susjnar, a suspected Bosnian Serb paramilitary, to Bosnia-Herzegovina to face charges of crimes against humanity.
Bosnia-Herzegovina wants Susnjar to face accusations he was part of a Bosnian Serb paramilitary group that massacred 59 Bosnian Muslims in the city of Visegrad in June 1992.
Witnesses say Susnjar personally locked the people – most of them women, children or elderly – inside a house and set it on fire. All but eight of them perished.
He was arrested in the Paris region in April 2014.
The court’s ruling in favour of extradition on international principles was a relief to victims, who had called on the court not to set precedent they feared would allow war criminals to find a safe haven in France. Continue reading
Radislav Krstic has won more than £50,000 from the British government for failing to protect him from a savage prison attack.
Krstic, who is serving 35 years after being convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for his part in the Srebrenica massacre, was being held at Wakefield prison when he was slashed with a razor blade.
Three Muslim extremists stormed his cell at the high security prison and cut his throat before leaving him for dead in the 2010 assault.
They held Krstic down and used a razor blade embedded in a tooth brush handle to cut his throat, neck and face.
Krstic claimed he has been left physically and mentally scarred and accused the prison authorities of negligently failing to protect him from the threat of attack by prisoners.
A judge, sitting at Central London County Court, has now ruled that the Ministry of Justice was negligent and awarded him £52,500 damages.
At the time of the attack, Krstic was being held in Britain under an agreement with NATO.
His attackers were all later convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
In his ruling, the judge said that Wakefield Prison had no appropriate facilities for protective confinement and Krstic should never have been transferred there.
Radislav Krstic serves now his sentence in a Polish jail.
By Eduardo Reyes*
The end is near for the groundbreaking international tribunal established to try alleged crimes committed in the conflicts of the former Yugoslavia. Eduardo Reyes travelled to The Hague to assess its achievements.
There was a time in the mid-1990s when it seemed the main legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) would be the fact that it had been constituted and issued indictments.
The first court of its kind since the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, it faced an enormous obstacle that those predecessor tribunals did not. In many cases, its indictees remained politically powerful, well connected and at large.
Where the areas in which the indictees lived had been pacified, such was the fragile nature of peace it was widely believed their apprehension risked restarting a conflict that had left more than 100,000 dead in Bosnia and Herzegovina alone. Continue reading
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Today, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) completed its largest case to date. The Appeals Chamber issued its Judgment in the Popović et al case, upholding the convictions of five senior Bosnian Serbian military officials for crimes perpetrated by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995 following the takeover of the protected areas of Srebrenica and Žepa.
The case concerned crimes committed in July 1995 after the fall of Srebrenica and Žepa in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Trial proceedings involved a total of seven accused, who were convicted for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws and customs of wars, in part through several Joint Criminal Enterprises. Five of the accused appealed to the judgment of the Trial Chamber. Continue reading