THE HAGUE | 13.12.2015.
Next Week at the Tribunal

APPELLATE JUDGMENT IN STANISIC AND SIMATOVIC CASE DUE NEXT WEEK, MIGHT NOT BE FINAL

The appellate judgment in the case against former Serbian secret police chiefs Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic will be rendered on Tuesday, 15 December 2015 at 3pm. The next day, the Appeals Chamber will hold the appellate hearing in the case against Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin, former Bosnian Serb police officials. Ratko Mladic’s defense has indicated it will call Dusan Pavlovic, former head of the exhumations in the BH Institute for Missing Persons, and a protected witness

On Tuesday, 15 December 2015, the Appeals Chamber will hand down their judgment in the case against the two former chiefs of the Serbian State Security Service, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic. In May 2013, Simatovic and Stanisic were acquitted of the charges that pertained to their participation in the joint criminal enterprise aimed at the ethnic cleansing of large parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The prosecution alleged that the Serbian State Security Service headed by Stanisic and Simatovic had trained, armed and controlled the units that committed the crimes. The units included the Scorpions, the Red Berets, Arkan’s men, Martic’s police and others. With a majority of votes the Trial Chamber found that the aid the two Serbian secret police chiefs had provided to the units wasn’t ‘specifically directed’ to the commission of the crimes. In the judges’ view, the support was aimed at ‘establishing and maintaining the Serb rule’ in parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In its appeal, the prosecution contested the validity of the criterion of ‘specific direction’ and called for a conviction or a re-trial. The defense argued that if the trial judgment was to be reversed, the case should be referred to the Trial Chamber. Stanisic and Simatovic have indicated that they will not be in court to hear the appellate judgment, which might well not be the final judgment in their case.

On Wednesday, 16 December 2015, Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin will return to the courtroom for the appellate hearing in their case. In March 2013, former Republika Srpska police minister Stanisic and ex-chief of the Security Services Center Zupljanin were found guilty of the crimes committed by the Serb forces against Muslims and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stanisic and Zupljanin were both sentenced to 22 years in prison.

The prosecution wants the appellate judges to ‘increase the sentence which is inadequate’. The defense has called for an acquittal, a milder sentence or a re-trial after one of the judges in the Trial Chamber, Frederik Harhoff, was disqualified from Seselj’s case because of his alleged bias.

Ratko Mladic’s defense case will continue next week with the evidence of a protected witness who will testify under a pseudonym and of Dusan Pavlovic, former head of the Exhumation and Identification Department in the BH Institute for Missing Persons. Mladic, former commander of the Republika Srpska Army Main Staff, is charged with double genocide and other crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.