The Trial Chamber has rejected the motion of the former Serbian State Security Service chief to be allowed to follow the start of his retrial and the prosecution case from Belgrade over the internet

The Trial Chamber has rejected Jovica Stanisic’s motion to extend his provisional release and allow him to remain in Belgrade throughout the prosecution case at the retrial set to start on 13 June. Stanisic appended to the motion the waiver of his right to attend the trial.

Rejecting Stanisic’s motion, the Trial Chamber highlighted the importance of the start of every trial, including retrials, and the fact that the prosecution will now be represented by a new team. The judges did indicate that they might review their decision after the retrial starts; depending on the health of the accused they might still allow Stanisic to follow at least a part of the prosecution case from Belgrade over the internet.

As indicated, the Trial Chamber will in the next few days order Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic to return to the UN Detention Unit. The two former chiefs of the Serbian State Security Service are charged with organizing, financing and equipping police and paramilitary units that engaged in secret operations outside of Serbia. Between 1991 and 1995, those units committed serious crimes in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In December 2015, the Appeals Chamber quashed the first-instance judgment which acquitted Stanisic and Simatovic of all those crimes, ordering a retrial.