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RADOVAN KARADZIC CHARGES TO BE REDUCED TO SPEED UP THE TRIAL

July 24, 2009 Comments off
THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE FAILS VICTIMS – AGAIN!

From 1992-1995, Serbs from heavily militarized villages around Srebrenica had terrorized Srebrenica population and constantly attacked neighbouring Bosnian Muslim village. In just a few days of July 1995, Serbs committed genocide against the Bosniaks in a U.N. protected enclave of Srebrenica. The Srebrenica genocide resulted in a mass scale ethnic cleansing of 30,000 and a massacre of at least 8,372 Bosniaks. Radovan Karadzic (photo above) is the architect of this genocide.

ACTION ALERT: U.N. Judges have ordered Prosecutors to cut more charges against Radovan Karadzic for the purpose of speeding up the trial. The OTP already reduced charges of Bosnian Genocide from 27 municipalities to only 11. It is unacceptable to cut more charges against the monster responsible for the genocide. If the U.N. Judges are concerned about the length of Karadzic’s trial, then they can send him back to Sarajevo and let the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina handle the case. We ask you again to tell the U.N. Judges NOT to drop any more charges against Radovan Karadzic!

The latest scandal with the international justice started when MIKE CORDER accurately reported for The Herald that “the judge preparing Radovan Karadzic’s genocide trial… was considering dropping some charges to shorten court proceedings that could take years.” His report in The Herald was, for some reason, not dated, but it appeared sometime between June 28 and July 2nd.

Then, the Congress of North American Bosniaks protested this decision with the Court and asked thousands of its members to contact the ICTY and express their concerns to both the Judges and the Prosecutor. The campaign prompted the Office of the Prosecutor to respond on July 8:

“At no point did Judge Bonomy invite the Prosecution to drop the ‘Srebrenica or Sarajevo counts’ as reported by the media. The Prosecution was told that they may need to start thinking about how to reduce the length of the trial and a number of possibilities were mentioned, including reducing the number of crime sites and not proceeding on certain counts.”

Then, on July 22nd, AFP reported that “Judges have ordered prosecutors in the upcoming trial of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic to try and reduce the charge sheet against him in a bid to speed things up.” The story continued:

[QUOTE, AFP] “Judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, or ICTY, pointed out the indictment covered 11 charges on crimes alleged to have been committed in 27 municipalities – already reduced from an initial 41.

The prosecution intended to call 500 witnesses, with 490 hours needed to examine them in the witness stand. But an order from the court published Thursday said if prosecutors couldn’t narrow the charge sheet down, the court would do the job for them.

The U.N. court was initially meant to finish all trials by 2008 and appeals by 2010. The court’s most recent estimates suggest its final trial, that of Karadzic, would only conclude in early 2012 while some appeals may run into 2013.

The U.N. Security Council recently prolonged the mandate of some ICTY appeal judges to Dec. 31, 2010.

Karadzic was arrested a year ago on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. A trial date has yet to be set.

Key among the 11 counts against him is the 44-month siege of Sarajevo that left 10,000 people dead, and the July 1995 massacre of around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. Bosnia’s inter-ethnic 1992-95 war cost an estimated 100,000 lives.” [ END QUOTE]

NOW TAKE ACTION: TELL U.N. JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS NOT TO DROP KEY CHARGES AGAINST RADOVAN KARADZIC. MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR: VISIT OUR CAMPAIGN PAGE! THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!

ICTY RESPONDS: WE WILL NOT DROP KEY CHARGES AGAINST RADOVAN KARADZIC

July 8, 2009 Comments off

PHOTO: Nerma Jelačić, Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers.

As recently reported by The Herald: “The judge preparing Radovan Karadzic’s genocide trial… was considering dropping some charges to shorten court proceedings that could take years.” The report published by The Herald turned out to be innacurate, sort of.

RESPONSE from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Office of the Prosecutor:

Asked about the recent reports in the media that Judge Bonomy invited Prosecution during the last Status Conference in the Karadžić to think about dropping either Srebrenica or Sarajevo charge of the indictment, Nerma Jelačić responded that at no point did Judge Bonomy invite the Prosecution to drop the ‘Srebrenica or Sarajevo counts’ as reported by the media. The Prosecution was told that they may need to start thinking about how to reduce the length of the trial and a number of possibilities were mentioned, including reducing the number of crime sites and not proceeding on certain counts. These were simply hypothetical examples to illustrate the application of the Rules. The Tribunal’s rules stipulate that the Trial Chambers can invite the Prosecutor to reduce the number of counts or crime scenes charged in the indictment in the interest of a fair and expeditious trial and issue any appropriate orders.

ACTION ALERT: KARADZIC MUST ANSWER GENOCIDE CHARGES

July 3, 2009 1 comment
TELL U.N. JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS NOT TO DROP KEY CHARGES AGAINST RADOVAN KARADZIC!

PHOTO of Radovan Karadzic, the architect of genocide in Srebrenica. In several days of July 1995, the Srebrenica genocide resulted in a mass scale ethnic cleansing of 30000 and a massacre of at least 8372 Bosniaks.

According to The Herald: “The judge preparing Radovan Karadzic’s genocide trial… was considering dropping some charges to shorten court proceedings that could take years.”

Scottish judge Iain Bonomy “indicated prosecutors might have to drop one of two key parts of the 11-count indictment: either the deadly siege of Sarajevo or the July 1995 killing of 8000 Muslims in the UN safe haven of Srebrenica, Europe’s worst massacre since the Second World War.”

Tell the U.N. Judges and Prosecutors not to drop any key charges against Radovan Karadzic. Ask them to find alternative solution to complete the trial. For example, Karadzic could stand trial in front of the International Judges presiding over the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

THE BOTTOM LINE: KARADZIC NEEDS TO ANSWER GENOCIDE CHARGES. CONTACT THE ICTY TODAY:

Mailing Address:
International Criminal Tribunal for the FY
Att: Judge Iain Bonomy
Att: Office of the Prosecutor
P.O. Box 13888
2501 EW The Hague,
The Netherlands

Tribunal Address: (For visits and general business)
Att: Judge Iain Bonomy
Att: Office of the Prosecutor
Churchillplein 1
2517 JW The Hague, The Netherlands

Press Inquiries
Tel: +31 (0)70 512 8752, 5343, 5356,
Fax: +31 (0)70 512 5355
E-mail: press@icty.org

All Other ICTY Contacts:
http://www.icty.org/sections/AbouttheICTY/Contacts

UNCLASSIFIED FILES REFUTE KARADZIC CLAIMS

July 1, 2009 Comments off

RICHARD HOLBROOKE and RADOVAN KARADZIC
NO “IMMUNITY DEAL”

UNCLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS:

DEF-09-0001.pdf (PDF/370.56 KB)
DEF-09-0002.pdf (PDF/1.03 MB)
DEF-09-0003.pdf (PDF/1.43 MB)
DEF-09-0004.pdf (PDF/782.74 KB)
DEF-09-0005.pdf (PDF/634.5 KB)
DEF-09-0006.pdf (PDF/279.8 KB)
DEF-09-0007.pdf (PDF/609 KB)
DEF-09-0008.pdf (PDF/640.23 KB)

The State Department on June 25 announced it would make public documents pertaining to new accusations by Radovan Karadzic, the indicted Serbian war leader, that the U.S. government and specifically U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke had promised him immunity from prosecution for war crimes during the Bosnian war (1992-1995) if he would withdraw from public life.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1995 indicted Karadzic for war crimes, including charges that his forces killed at least 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys from Srebrenica in 1995 as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat population. A year after his indictment, Karadzic stepped down as president of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) and went into hiding. Serbian authorities arrested Karadzic in 2008 – nearly 13 years after being on the run.

Karadzic on May 25, 2009 filed a motion entitled “Holbrooke Agreement Motion” before the ICTY arguing that his indictment should be dismissed on the grounds that the U.S. government had offered him a “quid pro quo.” The State Department’s newly released documents show that the U.S. government repeatedly made clear that it expected Karadzic to be tried at The Hague, even following his agreement to retire from public life. Link to State Department Press Release.

Upon learning of the new documents, USIP vice president Daniel Serwer said “I am delighted to see these documents, which clarify the US Government’s position in 1996 and refute Karadzic’s “immunity” claims.”

U.S. Institute of Peace staff have worked in many ways to address the complex conflicts in the Balkans since the Dayton agreements were signed in late 1995. The Institute recently published three reports on the current situation in Bosnia as well as a USIP grant-supported volume entitled “Confronting the Yugoslav Controversies,” edited by Charles W. Ingrao, in which scholars from throughout the Balkans, Western Europe and the U.S. attempt to clarify controversial issues in recent Balkans history.

For more information, visit:

RATKO MLADIC VIDEO – LEAKED BY FTV “60 MINUTES”

June 15, 2009 Comments off
SREBRENICA GENOCIDE ARCHITECT RATKO MLADIC
“HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT”


Federal Television in Bosnia-Herzegovina (FTV) aired a shocking video on Wednesday evening (June 10th) in the programme 60 Minutes. The footage shows former Bosnian Serb Army Commander, Ratko Mladic, enjoying his life in plain sight in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ratko Mladic, 67, has been on the run from the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for 14 years, when he was indicted for the Srebrenica genocide and other serious crimes against humanity.

As expected, Serbia’s minister in charge of co-operation with the UN tribunal – Rasim Ljajic – claimed the footage was old. “Not a single shot is less than eight years old,” he said. Ratko Mladic has never been seriously pursued by nationalist governments in Serbia and therefore, anything that the Serbian ultra-nationalist government says should be taken with a grain of salt.

The video was found and confiscated during search of the flat of Mladic’s wife Bosiljka on December 4 last year at the order of the Chamber for war crimes of the District court in Belgrade. During the search, Belgrade investigators also found Ratko Mladic diaries, some of which we republished on June 7th.

The footage shows Ratko Mladic receiving guests at his house in a Belgrade neighbourhood of Kosutnjak (location) where he introduces guests to BILJANA. “Biljana” is a wife of his son, Darko Mladic. She was Muslim, her previous name was AIDA, but she quietly changed her Muslim name into Serbian name BILJANA. She gave birth on March 2, 2006 to a boy, Mladic’s grandchild. The child has been named after St. Stefan. They apparently have one more daughter, Anastazija, who was born in 2001. It is unclear which baby he was holding on his lap.

Some parts of this amateur video show Ratko Mladic attending a wedding party of one his bodyguards in a restaurant Kula near Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in September 2000. The restaurant is situated in the so called “East Sarajevo”, rural part of Sarajevo held by Bosnian Serbs, which is close to the main military NATO headquarters located in the Federal part of Sarajevo. The restaurant is also near Ratko Mladic’s village of birth – Božinovići. The village is located near the Jahorina mountain, southeast of Sarajevo.

Another part of this video shows Mladic as slowly walking on a snow-covered mountain path with a cane, looking significantly older than in other footage. According to some reports, he had a “stroke” in 2006 and he hardly recovered from it. Since then, he started walking with a cane. Therefore, it looks like this part of the footage is indeed from 2006 or even 2008 as claimed by FTV.

Then, the video also shows Ratko Mladic sitting in peaceful wooded surroundings of what the television said were Serbian Army military barracks. Serbian government said that “the last time Mladic was in military premises was at the Krcmari army barracks near [the eastern Serbian town of] Valjevo on June 1, 2002.” However, the footage shows significantly older Ratko Mladic holding onto his cane while sitting with his wife in a compound surrounded by trees. He jokingly complains there is not enough coffee on the table.

The compound looks a like guarded military base. The entrance sign to the compound reads, “Barutana. Izgradjena 1807 god. Restaurirana 1976 god.” (Gun Powder Factory. Built in 1807. Restored in 1976.), which is part of Belgrade Castle (Beogradska Tvrdjava) built by Ottomans.

The oldest portion of this video shows Ratko Mladic attending a funeral of his daughter, Ana, who committed a suicide in 1994. You may recall that in 1994, Mladic was actively murdering Bosniak civilians – women, children, men, and elderly – in Sarajevo and other cities in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He felt no emotion for mass murders of Bosniaks, but he sobs uncontrollably in front of his daughter’s coffin. A perfect psychopath, indeed.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office at the ICTY said that they were examining the footage and would comment later. In the meantime, former Ratko Mladic bodyguard, Branislav Puhalo, told a Belgrade court Tuesday that Mladic was guarded by about 50 heavily armed men who were staying at an army barracks in Belgrade. He said the protection unit was set up in 1997 under orders from former President Slobodan Milosevic.

“It was all legal,” Puhalo said at the trial of 10 people charged with helping Mladic evade justice. “We were tasked with protecting Mladic from criminals and bounty hunters.” Puhalo said that Mladic’s protection unit was disbanded in March 2002.

So we have 10 people standing trial for helping Ratko Mladic evade justice, but what about Radovan Karadzic’s supporters? We wonder, why the same Belgrade Court failed to charge family members of Radovan Karadzic for helping him evade justice? Remember that Ratko Mladic’s boss, Radovan Karadzic, freely traveled and regularly stayed in touch with his family, especially his wife Ljiljana Zelen-Karadzic – all with the help of Dragan Karadzic, son of Radovan’s brother Luka Karadzic. None of these people have ever been charged with obstruction of justice.

WATCH VIDEO: DIRECTLY FROM FEDERAL TV IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Real Player required (free download here).

JERUSALEM POST REMEMBERS BOSNIAKS & CROATS IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS

May 4, 2009 Comments off

PHOTO: Relative of the Omarska concentration camp victims near the Western Bosnian town of Prijedor in Bosnia-Herzegovina holds photos of excavated bodies of her relatives on 06 August, 2006. You can view more concentration camp photos from Bosnian Genocide at this link.

FIRST, MUSLIMS AND CROATS HAD TO WEAR WHITE BANDS ON THEIR ARMS

By Tovah Lazaroff, JPost Correspondent in Geneva
Originally published: Apr 26, 2009.
Republished with Permission.

JERUSALEM POST – As an inmate in the Omarska concentration camp in Bosnia, in 1992, Nusreta Sivac began her days by counting the corpses of those who had been killed overnight.

“We would see them on the grass in front of the ‘white house,’ which was a little building where the worst torture was committed,” she told the audience who had gathered on Friday to hear her and other victims of racism, including some from Rwanda. They spoke on the sidelines of the United Nations anti-racism conference that met in Geneva last week.

They sat on a small stage, set off from one of the main corridors in the UN’s European headquarters, at an event titled “Voices: Everyone affected by racism has a story that should be heard.”

Speaking with the help of a translator, Sivac explained how in April 1992 Serbs took over her native city of Prijedor, in the northwest part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and went about “ethnically cleansing” the area of Muslims (Bosniaks) and Catholics (Croats).

First, “freedom of movement was strictly limited. Muslims and Croats had to wear white bands around their arms and to have white flags on the windows of their apartments,” she said.

Sivac was 40 and a judge in the municipal court. Within a few days of the takeover, she was banned from her job.

“I thought that was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, and later I realized that was only the introduction to the worst thing that could ever happen to a human being,” she said.

In June, she was asked to come to the police station, where she was forced onto a bus and driven away by members of the Serb military forces.

“I did not know in what direction I was taken. Only when we arrived I understood that I was taken to the Omarska concentration camp,” she said.

It was an unusual move because mostly it was men who were sent there, while women and children were typically driven to the border with the Bosnian-controlled area, where they sought protection, Sivac said.

She was one of 36 women among 3,500 men detained at the camp.

The women were given rooms above a restaurant. During the day they were forced to serve food or clean while the rooms that they slept in were used to torture prisoners.

“We would hear them screaming every day… When we would come up to the rooms to sleep, we first had to clean because blood was everywhere,” she said.

Every day, people were tortured to death and massacred. Drunken guards jumped on the bodies and sang Serb nationalist songs, she said.

Fathers would see their sons tortured and killed and sons would watch their fathers being murdered, she said.

“Even some of the detained women saw their husbands tortured, and no one was ever allowed to help anyone. They would have risked their lives,” she said.

“Once I saw my cousin running on the grass area covered by the massacred bodies and he was desperately looking for his son. Then I saw them killing him.”

Another time, she saw a Serb soldier take a knife and make a cross on a woman’s face.

Male prisoners were only given one meal a day, a small piece of bread, bean soup and coleslaw, she said.

“When detainees would go to eat, they had to pass a line of Serb guards that would beat them,” she said.

If prisoners did not finish the meal within minutes, they risked being beaten, sometimes to death, Sivac said.

Many people stopped going to meals to avoid the beatings.

For the women, nighttime was the worst, she said.

“The guards would come to the rooms and take us somewhere in the camp and rape us. That happened on a regular basis. We were not allowed to say anything to anyone. I was regularly raped and beaten,” said Sivac.

She was the only judge to survive the camp. All the male Muslim and Croat judges were killed. But Sivac survived until her release in August 1992, right before Western journalists and the Red Cross were brought in to see the camp, which was closed later that month.

Today, she has returned to live in Prijedor, which is now part of the Republic of Srpska. The city is now 99 percent ethnic Serb. Most of the Muslims live in the Federation of Bosnia, where there are some 500,000 Muslim refugees.

No one in the Republic of Srpska talks about what happened in 1992.

“I am surrounded by a society that does not recognize what happened, which I find very difficult,” Sivac said.

In Prijedor, “I see some of the perpetrators and some of those who came already out from The Hague,” she said.

Prejudice still runs so deep in Prijedor that she cannot work there. Instead she travels more than an hour to the Federation of Bosnia to work.

“I have been called to witness in The Hague and I have seen the man [Zeljko Mejakic] that was regularly raping and beating me and other women,” Sivac said.

“He was the worst to the women in the camp. I know that many of the women did not talk about their experiences, because it is extremely difficult to think and to talk about it, even for me today, but I have to be strong and let my voice be heard.”

In 1996, an American documentary, Calling the Ghosts, was made about her story.

Still, she told the audience in Geneva on Friday, very little attention is paid to what happened in Bosnia.

“Unfortunately, the concentration camps in Bosnia is something very rarely spoken about, which is dangerous. We should not close our eyes to what happened. We should condemn it and never allow it to happen again,” she said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, who joined the panel, said, “This is why this conference matters. It is because of your experiences.”

Racism, she said, “is a global human tragedy blighting lives and destroying the future of men, women and children in every corner of the world. We must always insure that the voices of the victims are heard and that they resonate.”

Original article:

ICTY PROSECUTORS MUST NOT MAKE SAME MISTAKES IN KARADZIC TRIAL

March 30, 2009 3 comments

PHOTO: Serge Brammertz, Chief United Nations’ Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

“The same legal team which led the prosecution in the [Momcilo] Krajisnik case is in charge of prosecuting [Radovan] Karadzic, too, and unless they change their strategy, they could repeat the same mistakes.”

KRAJISNIK APPEAL MAY PRESENT PROBLEMS FOR KARADZIC PROSECUTORS

Appeals verdict in Momcilo Krajisnik case suggests prosecution could have trouble proving charges against former Bosnian Serb president.

By Edina Becirevic in Sarajevo

Last week’s appeals judgement against Momcilo Krajisnik surprised many by reducing the sentence awarded and clouding the trail of responsibility for atrocities committed during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Hercegovina.

On March 17, appeals judges at the Hague tribunal confirmed the conviction of former president of the Bosnian Serb assembly for the persecution of Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats in 32 Bosnian municipalities through acts of deportation and forcible transfer of the non-Serb population out of Bosnia.

However, they reduced his prison sentence by seven years, after reversing convictions against him for murder, extermination and persecutions (through crimes other than deportation and forcible transfer).

The reasoning of the final verdict yet again highlights key weaknesses of the system and practice of the Hague tribunal.

It could also have implications for the genocide case of the highest-profile indictee currently in custody – former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic.

In the trial chamber judgement of September 27, 2006, Krajisnik was sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment after judges convicted him of killing some 3,000 non-Serbs and forcibly removing another 100,000 non-Serbs from large swathes of Bosnia in 1991 and 1992.

Trial judges acquitted him of genocide, as while they found evidence that this crime had been committed, they did not establish that Krajisnik had shown the criminal intent necessary to secure a conviction. (Page 305 of the first-instance judgment is available at: www.icty.org/x/cases/krajisnik/tjug/en/kra-jud060927e.pdf)

By not appealing the genocide acquittal, prosecutors showed they accepted their own failure to prove that Krajisnik intended to commit genocide in Bosnia.

The appeals chamber ruling highlights another shortcoming of the prosecution case against Krajisnik – the attempt to establish the accused’s responsibility for crimes through use of the “joint criminal enterprise” doctrine.

This is legal doctrine under which members of a group are considered to be part of a conspiracy and are held responsible for each other’s criminal acts.

One problem with its use in the Krajisnik case seems to be that it wasn’t clearly established during the trial at what point the members of the joint criminal enterprise intended to commit certain crimes.

Appeals judges confirmed the trial chamber verdict that the accused “shared the intent” to commit deportation, forcible transfer and persecution “from the beginning of the joint criminal enterprise”.

Yet they found that trial judges did not clearly set out in their judgement at what point the Bosnian Serb leaders conspired to commit murder, extermination and persecution (excluding acts of deportation and forcible transfer) and so convictions against Krajisnik on these charges were overturned.

“..The Appeals Chamber is not able to conclude with the necessary preciseness how and at which point in time the common objective of the joint criminal enterprise included the expanded crimes [of murder, extermination and persecution] and, consequently, on what basis the Trial Chamber imputed those expanded crimes to Krajisnik,” stated the appeals judgement.

Another problem seems to stem from the fact that prosecutors failed to name all members of the joint criminal enterprise in the indictment.

Appeals judges accepted the argument submitted by the defence that trial judges had not clearly established who prosecutors were referring to when they mentioned lower-level participants, including paramilitaries and politicians.

In Krajisnik’s indictment, prosecutors identified a diverse group of people as taking part in the same joint criminal enterprise as the accused.

The list included Bosnian Serbian politicians Biljana Plavsic, Radovan Karadzic, Radoslav Brdjanin and Nikola Koljevic; Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, Serbian paramilitary leader Zeljko Raznjatovic (aka “Arkan”); as well as Bosnian Serb generals Ratko Mladic and Momir Talic.

While other members are not individually named, the indictment states that “numerous individuals participated”.

The indictment vaguely alludes to these individuals – implicating members of the Bosnian Serb leadership, the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, leadership, the Yugoslav army, the Bosnian Serb army, police and territorial defence, the Serbian and Bosnian Serb paramilitary forces and volunteer units, and military and political figures from the former Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro.

But by not specifying clearly who all the individual members of the joint criminal enterprise were, prosecutors made it harder to prove that Krajisnik was responsible for their crimes.

A further flaw with prosecution’s attempts to prove Krajisnik’s participation in a joint criminal enterprise, as well as his responsibility for genocide, was the limited time covered by his indictment, which spans only the period from July 1, 1991, to December 30, 1992.

It is hard to follow the logic of the prosecution for restricting the indictment to these 18 months, as he remained president of the Bosnian Serb assembly for the entire period of the 1992-95 war.

He was therefore a key member of the Bosnian Serb leadership at the time of the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, which both the Hague tribunal and the International Court of Justice, ICJ, have found to have been genocide.

By limiting their case to this narrow window, prosecutors made it harder to demonstrate the extent of the criminal plan in which Krajisnik took part.

This can be illustrated further by comparing the case to that of Milosevic.

Prosecutors in the Milosevic case attempted to prove that the accused participated in a joint criminal enterprise and possessed genocidal intent by demonstrating his involvement in an alleged plan drawn up at the Bosnian Serb assembly on May 12, 1992.

They argued that the so-called Six Strategic Objectives of the Serbian People set out the Bosnian Serb leadership’s plan to separate Serbs from Bosnia’s Bosniak and Croat communities by carving up the country.

According to the prosecution, they defined the leaders’ military objectives in the war – to create an ethnically pure Republika Srpska which would later become part of a Greater Serbia – and were clearly pursued until the conflict ended.

When presenting their case, the prosecutors of Milosevic clearly linked the six strategic goals to crimes committed on the ground throughout the war, with an indictment covering a period from August 1, 1991, to “at least” December 31, 1995.

They argued that the strategic goals were a clear manifestation “that a plan existed to remove non-Serbs from power in all targeted areas and to essentially remove non-Serbs physically from targeted parts of Bosnia, regardless of whether they formed the ethnic majority or not”.

A key argument in their case was that this document could be seen as a vehicle “employed by the Bosnian Serb leadership to implement a genocidal plan”.

Although Milosevic died while in detention in March 2006, before a judgement was passed in his trial, judges found following the presentation of the prosecution case that there was enough evidence on all charges in the indictment to proceed with the case.

Perhaps if prosecutors had charged Krajisnik for crimes committed throughout the entire war – and related his actions to the pursuit of these strategic goals – they would have managed to prove his responsibility for more atrocities, including genocide.

The same legal team which led the prosecution in the Krajisnik case is in charge of prosecuting Karadzic, too, and unless they change their strategy, they could repeat the same mistakes.

The amended Karadzic indictment is an improvement on the last version, updated in April 2000, in which he was not accused of taking part in a joint criminal enterprise at all.

Introducing the joint criminal enterprise doctrine should give prosecutors the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of the Bosnian Serb leadership’s role in the war, and perhaps prove a link to Belgrade, thus giving a clearer picture of what went on in the conflict.

Furthermore, the time-frame of the Karadzic indictment – which covers the entire 1992-95 period – will allow prosecutors to draw on more evidence to support charges in the indictment.

But a glance at the Karadzic indictment would suggest that prosecutors could learn more from their experience of prosecuting Krajisnik.

When setting out the joint criminal enterprise in the Karadzic indictment, they have failed to include certain key figures, who acted in concert with the Bosnian Serb leadership during the war.

In Karadzic’s indictment, the joint criminal enterprise is defined with the same vagueness that ultimately hamstrung the prosecution in the Krajisnik case.

It states that members of the joint criminal enterprise included, “members of the Bosnian Serb leadership; members of SDS and Bosnian Serb government bodies at the republic, regional, municipal, and local levels, including Crisis Staffs, War Presidencies, and War Commissions”.

To overcome this vagueness, during the presentation of their case, prosecutors must attempt to show a link between Karadzic and the particular individuals who implemented the criminal plan he is accused of orchestrating.

It is very likely that Karadzic’s defence will be based on the notion that Milosevic was responsible for everything and the accused was only a cog in the machine.

Prosecutors must therefore use the evidence of the six strategic goals adopted by the Bosnian Serb parliament at the start of the war to demonstrate evidence of both a joint criminal enterprise and of genocidal intent.

Edina Becirevic is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Criminal Justice Science, University of Sarajevo. Her OP/ED comment was published by IWPR (Institute for War & Peace Reporting) on March 27, 2009.

MOMCILO KRAJISNIK SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS BY U.N. APPEALS CHAMBER

March 18, 2009 1 comment
PHOTO: Momcilo Krajisnik, convicted Serb war criminal.
The Appeals Chamber today sentenced Momčilo Krajišnik to 20 years’ imprisonment, upholding earlier guilty findings against the former member of the Bosnian Serb leadership for deportations, forcible transfer and persecution of non-Serb civilians committed during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Trial Chamber’s earlier convictions of murder, extermination and persecution – with exception of deportation and forcible transfer – were quashed by the Appeal Chamber judgement.

On 27 September 2006, the Trial Chamber found Krajišnik guilty of persecution, extermination, murder, deportation and forced transfer of non-Serb civilians during the 1992-95 conflict. He was found not guilty of charges of genocide and complicity of genocide. Krajišnik was sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment.

The Trial Chamber found that Krajišnik participated in a joint criminal enterprise whose objective was to ethnically recompose the territories under the control of the Bosnian-Serb Republic by drastically reducing the proportion of non-Serbs through the commission of various crimes. “It held that there was a leadership component of the JCE, based in the Bosnian-Serb capital of Pale, which included Krajišnik, Radovan Karadžić and other Bosnian-Serb leaders; the local component of this JCE was based in the municipalities of the Bosnian-Serb Republic and maintained close links with the Pale-based leadership.”

Appeals were filed by the Prosecution, the Accused – including supplementary legal challenges made by Alan and Nathan Dershowitz, Counsel on the matter of joint criminal enterprise and Amicus Curiae.

The Appeals Chamber dismissed the Accused’s and Amicus Curiae’s submissions that the Trial Chamber violated Krajišnik’s right to a fair trial.

However, parts of Amicus Curiae’s third, fourth and seventh grounds of appeal were granted. The Appeals Chamber accepted that the Trial Chamber failed in part to specify which of the local politicians, militaries, police commanders and paramilitary leaders were members of the joint criminal enterprise. Thus, it could not beyond reasonable doubt conclude that a common objective between them and Krajišnik existed.

The Appeals Chamber reaffirmed the Trial Chamber’s finding that “Krajišnik shared the intent to commit the original crimes of deportation, forcible transfer and persecution based on these crimes from the beginning of the JCE”. However, with respect to the expanded crimes of murder, extermination and persecution (other than that based on deportation and forcible transfer) the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber failed to identify when those acts became part of the common goal of the joint criminal enterprise.

The Trial Chamber had found that such crimes were added to the joint criminal enterprise after leading members of the joint criminal enterprise were informed of them, yet took no effective measures to prevent their recurrence, and persisted in the implementation of the common objective, thereby coming to intend these expanded crimes.

“The Appeals Chamber notes, however, that the Trial Chamber made only scarce findings, if at all, on these requirements,” the judgement reads. “Neither the Appeals Chamber nor an accused can be required to engage in speculation on the meaning of the Trial Chamber’s findings – or lack thereof – in relation to such a central element of Krajišnik’s individual criminal responsibility as the scope of the common objective of the JCE.”

It therefore quashed Krajišnik’s convictions for expanded crimes of murder, extermination and persecution with the exception of the underlying acts of deportation and forcible transfer.

The Appeals Chamber also found that on many occasions the Trial Chamber failed to find the link between the perpetrators of the original crimes of deportation, forcible transfer and persecution based on these crimes, and the members of the joint criminal enterprise.

The Appeals Chamber dismissed most of the submissions of the Counsel for joint criminal enterprise but granted arguments with respect to the identity of the members of the enterprise, Krajišnik’s responsibility for the expanded crimes, and the lack of findings on a link between the physical perpetrators and the members of the enterprise for some of the original crimes.

Submissions by the Prosecution and the remainder of the Accused’s and Amicus Curiae’s submissions were all dismissed, the tenth ground submitted by Amicus Curiae on cumulative convictions by majority, Judge Güney dissenting.

While the Appeals Chamber noted that the majority of convictions of Momčilo Krajišnik were overturned it held that the gravity of the crimes of persecution, deportation and forcible transfer “requires a severe and proportionate sentence”.

Krajišnik was indicted on 25 February 2000. He was arrested and transferred to the Tribunal on 3 April 2000. Credit will be given for the time already spent in detention since Krajišnik’s arrest.

Since its inception 15 years ago the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The proceedings against 117 individuals have been completed. With proceedings ongoing against 42 accused only two indictees remain on the run awaiting arrest – Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić.


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UN JUDGES APPROVE TWO GENOCIDE CHARGES AGAINST RADOVAN KARADZIC

February 17, 2009 8 comments

The U.N.-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia approved most of an amended indictment against Radovan Karadžić.

Karadžić, former President of the self-proclaimed Republika Srpska and head of the Serbian Democratic Party and Supreme Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), is charged by the Prosecution with genocide and a multitude of crimes against Bosniak, Bosnian Croat and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina committed during the 1992-1995 war.

In the Amended Indictment, Karadžić is charged with two counts of genocide instead of initial one. The first count refers to the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1992 and the second to the July 1995 massacre in Srebrenica. Two other counts have been dropped from the initial indictment, those being the charges of complicity in genocide and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. With the Amended Indictment, Karadžić is charged with criminal conduct in relation to 27 municipalities instead of the initial 41.

In 2000, Radovan Karadžić was ordered by a U.S. jury to pay $4.5 billion in damages for atrocities committed by his soldiers. The only problem – he was on the run. The U.S. Government placed $5 million bounty on his head. He was arrested in July 2008 in Belgrade, while he was freely practicing alternative medicine under the alias “Dragan David Dabic.”

Radovan Karadžić made his genocidal intentions public long before he executed them. As Florence Hartmann, former spokesperson for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, pointed out in Dani interview,

“[Karadžić’s] war plan included the destruction of the Bosnian Muslims within a limited geographical area, i.e. within part of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the aim of joining that part to Serbia. Milošević was the initiator and the moving force behind the execution of the plan to secure for the Serbs certain areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was Serbia’s political leader and was considered and admired by them as the leader and protector of all ethnic Serbs living on the former Yugoslav territory. He utilised Karadžić to formulate and articulate their joint intentions. In a conversation between Milošević, Karadžić and Babić conducted in July 1991, Karadžić said that ‘the Muslims should be expelled from the valleys in order to join together all Serb territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina’. Milošević and his collaborators made their intentions clear even before the start of the Yugoslav crisis. It was obvious that the inclusion of territories of other republics, and changes to the established borders, carried with them a high risk or likelihood of violence. They needed to use violence in order to achieve their aim, especially in an ethnically mixed country such as Yugoslavia. In other words, everything was known and predictable, but nothing was done to prevent it.”

On October 12th 1991, Radovan KaradziKaradžić issued a warning: “They [Muslims] will disappear, these people will disappear from the face of the earth”
A mere day later, on 13 October 1991, Karadžić, talking to Momčilo Mandić, said: “Within a few days there will be no Sarajevo, and there will be over 500,000 dead; within a month the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina will be destroyed!”
Again, on 15 October 1991, Karadžić foresees the extermination of the Muslims in the event of war. Talking to Miodrag Davidović and his own brother Luka, Karadžić said: “In the first instance, none of their leaders will remain alive, they will be killed within 3 or 4 hours. They will have no chance of surviving.”


Learn more about Bosnian Genocide:
1. Remembering Concentration Camps in Bosnia (PHOTOS)

2. Nikola Jorgic: The First Bosnian Genocide Judgment
3. Bosnian Genocide Judgment Upheld

Miroslav Deronjić (quick bio), a former Bosnian Serb politician who has pleaded guilty to war crimes, said he met Radovan Karadzić in early July 1995, shortly before Serbs attacked the United Nations-declared ”safe area” of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia. ”At one moment, he said the following sentence to me, “Miroslav, all of them need to be killed — whatever you can lay your hands on,” Mr.Deronjić told a pre-appeal hearing for a former Bosnian Serb general, Radislav Krstić – who was found guilty of Srebrenica Genocide.
At the end of the war, Karadzić realized that his attempts to make “Muslims of Bosnia” disappear failed, so he focused on Srebrenica – lightly protected United Nations’ enclave in eastern Bosnia. In March 1995, Radovan Karadzić, then President of Republika Srpska, issued a directive to the Bosnian Serb Army – known as “Directive 7” – which specified that the Bosnian Serb Army was to:

Complete the physical separation of Srebrenica from Žepa as soon as possible, preventing even communication between individuals in the two enclaves. By planned and well-thought out combat operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica.

The end result (Srebrenica): In a matter of days, at least 8,372 victims Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men, children, and elderly were summarily executed, dumped into mass graves, then dug out and moved to secondary mass graves to hide the crime. Other bodies were thrown into the Drina river and they will likely never be recovered. Meanwhile, approximately 25,000 Bosniaks were forcibly expelled from Srebrenica in a U.N.-assisted ethnic cleansing.


Learn more about Srebrenica Genocide:
Events preceding Srebrenica genocide:
—- 1. Serbs around Srebrenica attack and burn Muslim women, children, and elderly alive
—- 2. Serbs around Srebrenica slaughter 62 Bosniak children, injure 152
—- 3. This Muslim child was blinded by a grenade fired from militarized Serb-held villages around Srebrenica
—- 4. Under Siege: Bosnian Muslims lived under constant terrorist threat from Serbs around Srebrenica
—- 5. Research more here, or use custom search box (located on top left-hand side) to search for specific information…

Results of Srebrenica genocide:
—- 1. 8,372 Victims of Srebrenica Genocide
—- 2. DNA Analysis: 8,000 Victims, not Less
—- 3. Requested: Gassing of Refugees by Chemical Weapons
—- 4. Ethnic Cleansing of Srebrenica women disguised as ‘humanitarian act’
—- 5. Preliminary List of Child Victims of Srebrenica Genocide
—- 6. Srebrenica Children Shot in Head
—- 7. Research more here, or use custom search box (located on top left-hand side) to search for specific information…

KARADZIC-HOLBROOKE IMMUNITY DEAL RULED INVALID

December 19, 2008 4 comments
SNAPSHOT: Radovan Karadzic’s defence suffers a major setback: alleged Karadzic/Holbrooke deal invalid. Chief U.N. Prosecutor Serge Brammertz has “strong evidence that will unequivocally prove Karadzic’s responsibility” for the crimes against humanity and genocide. The Hague Tribunal is hoping that indicted former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic will be arrested and extradited in time to be tried together with Karadzic. The Tribunal’s work will be most likely extend until 2012, two years longer than anticipated.

Editor’s Note: This is a photo of a former Bosnian Serb leader who attempted to exterminate Muslims of Bosnia. “These people will disappear from the face of the Earth!” – Radovan Karadzic said in 1991. Take a look at photos of his victims in Serb-run concentration camps in Bosnia.

A U.N.-backed court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the Hague (Netherlands), ruled Thursday the former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic cannot claim immunity for war crimes and genocide he has insisted was offered to him by the United States diplomat Richard Holbrooke. In 2007, Richard Holbrooke described the Karadzic’s allegation as an “outrageous lie” and said he was “astonished that people would believe a war criminal over the word of the United States or people who brought peace to the Balkans.”

According to a panel of UN judges, an immunity deal Radovan Karadzic claims he made with a US peace envoy would not prevent the former Bosnian Serb leader’s trial on charges including genocide. Karadzic has repeatedly claimed Richard Holbrooke offered him a deal in 1996 to relinquish power in return for immunity from prosecution at the ICTY. However, such a deal “would be invalid under international law” judges said.


Radovan Karadzic faces 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The worst crimes on his indictment include the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, in which 8,000 to 10,000 people – men, children, and elderly – died in a matter of days, while more than 20,000 people were forcibly deported from the Enclave in a UN-assisted ethnic cleansing, as well as the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, in which more than 10,000 civilians died, including more than 1,500 children.

Hague Tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said that what’s important in judges decision is that even if an agreement between Richard Holbrooke and Radovan Karadzic exists, it would have no significance for a person charged with genocide and war crimes or crimes aganst humanity before an international court. “Quite simply, that kind of immunity cannot be given, particularly not in the context of the Tribunal. No body, not even the prosecution, can make agreements on behalf of the Tribunal,” she said.


He was arrested late July 21, 2008; however, some reports place the timing of his arrest on July 18. Despite Karadzic’s allegations of immunity, he went to great lengths to avoid arrest during his 13 years on the run.

He lived in Belgrade disguised behind a white beard and long hair, living and working as a practitioner of alternative medicine, and freely walking in the city, attending events, traveling, and even giving public speeches. He also used false documents under the name of Dragan Dabic (aka: Dragan David Dabic).

He enjoyed complete freedom, all thanks to the help of Dragan Karadzic, son of Radovan’s brother Luka who is a radical Serb ultra-nationalist with close ties to the Serbian Radical Party. He also kept in touch with his wife Ljiljana ZelenKaradzic. None of the above named individuals were charged with the crime of helping Radovan Karadzic evade justice for 13 years.

The picture below features Radovan Karadzic’s “business card” promoting his “alternative medicine” business. The photo was taken on July 22, 2008 in Belgrade, a day after Karadzic was officially arrested on genocide charges late July 21, 2008. The Cyrillic writing reads: “Quantum, spiritual, energetic medicine, reiki” and “Support in health and illness.” You can see more photos of Karadzic in disguise at this link.

“I believe my office will be able to put forward strong evidence that will unequivocally prove Karadzic’s responsibility, though it’ll be up to the judges to decide whether or not he’s guilty,” ICTY’s Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz told Belgrade-based B92. “In a broader context, that means four crimes—the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia from 1992-95, the shelling and terrorizing of the peaceful population of Sarajevo, the genocide in Srebrenica, and using UN blue helmets as hostages.”

The ICTY hopes that indicted former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic will be arrested and extradited in time to be tried together with Radovan Karadzic. If Mladic arrives in The Hague prior to commencement of the Karadzic trial, the case against him could be promptly included in the proceeding against Karadzic which, according to Brammertz, would make the whole trial more efficient and is the only good solution. He said that the Tribunal’s work will be most probably extended up and including 2012, two years longer than anticipated. It is inconceivable that the UN SC will decide to close the Tribunal without letting us complete all the proceedings, said Brammertz.