MOMCILO PERISIC – IN PRE-TRIAL
Chief of General Staff of the VJ
|Born||22 May 1944 in Kostunici, Serbia and Montenegro|
Transferred to ICTY
|7 March 2005|
9 March 2005, pleaded “not guilty” to all counts of the indictment.
|9 June 2005|
Charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1)) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3)) with:
– Crimes against humanity
– Violations of the laws or customs of war
History of the indictment
The indictment against Momcilo Perisic was filed on 22 February 2005, confirmed two days later and then made public on 7 March 2005. The Prosecution filed the amended indictment (“indictment”) on 26 September 2005.
The indictment states that, Momcilo Perisic was the Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army (VJ) from about 26 August 1993 until 24 November 1998. According to the indictment, Momcilo Perisic, as the most senior officer in the VJ, had de jure and de facto authority over personnel to:
– make and implement decisions for the VJ General Staff and all subordinate units;
– to issue orders, instructions and directives, and ensure their implementation; and
– to transfer and second VJ personnel to the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) and the Army of Serbian Krajina (SVK) via the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres of the VJ General Staff for short temporary assignments or longer indefinite periods.
The accused is charged on basis of individual criminal responsibility pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal (“Statute”) for crimes referred to in Articles 3 and 5 of the Statute, in whose planning, preparation, or execution he aided and abetted. He is also charged, in his capacity as a superior officer, pursuant to the Article 7(3) of the Statute, for failing to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the crimes charged in the indictment or to punish his subordinates for committing the crimes.
According to the indictment, between August 1993 and November 1995, Momcilo Perisic aided and abetted the planning, preparation, or execution of a military campaign of artillery and mortar shelling and sniping onto civilian areas of Sarajevo and upon its civilian population, killing and wounding thousands of civilians.
These crimes were, in part, planned, instigated, ordered, committed and aided by members of the 30th Personnel Centre of the VJ General Staff including but not limited to General Ratko Mladic, Commander of the VRS, General Stanislav Galic, Commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps (until August 1994); and General Dragomir Miloševic, Commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps (after August 1994).
Momcilo Perisic had reason to know that subordinates of his, including Ratko Mladic, Stanislav Galic, Dragomir Milosevic and other VJ officers serving in the VRS via the 30th Personnel Centre had participated in the perpetration of crimes in Sarajevo. Momcilo Perisic, failed to initiate an inquiry into what role members of the 30th Personnel Centre of the VJ General Staff may have played in the commission of these crimes.
The indictment further alleges that, on 2 May 1995, on the order of Milan Martic, General Milan Celeketic of the SVK ordered his subordinates to fire an “Orkan” multiple barrel rocket launcher fitted with “cluster bomb” warheads into central Zagreb and the airport (Pleso). On 3 May 1995, on the orders of Milan Martic, the “Orkan” multiple barrel rocket launcher fitted with “cluster bomb” warheads was once again fired into the centre of Zagreb. These unlawful attacks caused death of at least seven civilians and at least 194 civilians were wounded.
The subordinates of Momcilo Perisic who participated in the perpetration of crimes in Zagreb included Milan Celeketic and other senior officers of the SVK who served in the SVK via the 40th Personnel Centre of the VJ General Staff. Momcilo Perisic had reason to know that they had participated in the perpetration of the crimes, but he failed to initiate an inquiry into what role members of the 40th Personnel Centre of the VJ may have played in the commission of these crimes.
It is also alleged that, on 2 July 1995, the VRS and other Bosnian Serb forces under the command and control of General Ratko Mladic attacked the Srebrenica enclave. The attack on the enclave continued until 11 July 1995, when Ratko Mladic and the forces under his command and control entered Srebrenica. Momcilo Perisic knew an attack was planned. Momcilo Perisic also knew that some members of the VRS would engage in criminal conduct against the Bosniak civilian population of Srebrenica after its capture; criminal conduct which would include persecution, forcible transfers and killings.
The indictment further states that, between 12 July and about 20 July 1995, thousands of Bosniak men were captured by, or surrendered to, Bosnian Serb forces. More than 7,000 Bosniak prisoners captured in the area around Srebrenica were summarily executed from 13 July to 19 July 1995 and thereafter many were buried in mass graves.
The crimes committed in and around Srebrenica were, in part, planned, instigated, ordered, committed and aided by members of the 30th Personnel Centre of the VJ. Momcilo Perisic had reason to know that, his subordinates had participated in the perpetration of crimes in Srebrenica, but he failed to initiate an inquiry into what role members of the 30th Personnel Centre of the VJ may have played in the commission of these crimes.
Momcilo Perisic is charged on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) of the Statute) and on the basis of superior criminal reponsibility (Article 7(3) of the Statute) with:
Eight counts of crimes against humanity (Article 5 – murder; inhumane acts; persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; extermination).
Five counts of violations of laws or customs of war (Article 3 – murder; attacks on civilians).
Momcilo Perisic case is at the pre-trial stage. The accused was granted provisional release on 9 June 2005. During the period of provisional release the accused shall remain within the confines of the municipality of Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, in compliance with condition set by the Tribunal.
Judge Patrick Robinson
Trial Chamber II
Judge Patrick Robinson (Presiding)
Judge O-Gon Kwon
Judge Iain Bonomy
Office of the Prosecutor:
Mr. Chester Stamp
Mr. Karim Agha
Mr. Frederic Ossogo
Mr. James Castle
keywords: Momcilo Perisic, Srebrenica Genocide, Srebrenica Massacre, Bosniaks, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnia-Herzegovina