On 30 May 2013, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic were acquitted of all charges by the majority of the Trial Chamber. Judge Picard submitted a dissenting opinion. Jovica Stanisic, former Chief of the Serbian State Security Service and Franko Simatovic, former employee of the Serbian State Security Service had been charged “with having directed, organised, equipped, trained, armed and financed units of the Serbian State Security Service which murdered, persecuted, deported and forcibly transferred non-Serb civilians from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia between 1991 and 1995.”
According to the Prosecution’s theory, Stanisic and Simatovic had participated in a joint criminal enterprise with the goal to forcibly and permanently remove non-Serbs in SAO Krajina, SAO Slavonia, Baranja, Western Srem in Croatia as well as in the municipalities of Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac, Doboj, Sanski Most, Zvornik and Trnovo in BiH. In addition the two accused were also charged “with planning, ordering, and otherwise aiding and abetting the crimes committed by the special units.”
Even though the Trial Chamber found that the crimes of deportation, forcible transfer, murder and persecution had been committed by these units, the Trial Chamber also held that the two accused could not be held reponsible for said crimes. The majority of the Trial Chamber found that the accused did not share the intent to further the common plan of the joint criminal enterprise. Furthermore the Trial Chamber held that “it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Stanisic or Simatovic planned or ordered the crimes. With regard to the allegations of aiding and abetting, the majority determined, Judge Picard dissenting, that in the instances that the two accused rendered assistance to the special units, this assistance was not specifically directed towards the commission of crimes.”
As a consequence of the acquittals, the Trial Chamber has ordered the immediate release of both accused.
Read here for further information:
Photocredit: ICTY Website