Milan Simić

Although it was immediately clear to me that it was impossible to make up for what I have done, my conscience led me to at least extend my apologies to the people whom I had hurt. I have done that, but in addition to my sincere regret and remorse and personal apology that I extended to them, I was still haunted by guilt and it continues so until this day.

Milan Simić , was a member of the Bosnian Serb Crisis Staff and President of the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Šamac, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. Together with several other men, Simić personally beat four detainees held at the Bosanski Šamac primary school, including a man who was known to have a heart condition. He kicked the men in their genitals and, during the beatings, fired gunshots over their heads. Simić was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment.

Read Guilty Plea Statement

22 July 2002 (extract from transcript of hearing)

[Interpretation] Your Good morning, Your Honours. Thank you for extending this opportunity for me to address you.

First of all, I would like to express my sincere regret and remorse for what I have done to my fellow citizens and friends at the elementary school. I'm aware of the fact that the fact that my best friend was killed and the fact that I was drunk can in no way serve as a justification for what I have done there. I am convinced that even my late friend, Dušan Mijanić, with whom I have spent unforgettable days as a student, would not find words to justify my conduct. Unfortunately, I became aware of all this only afterwards, and although it was immediately clear to me that it was impossible to make up for what I have done, my conscience led me to at least extend my apologies to the people whom I had hurt.

I have done that, but in addition to my sincere regret and remorse and personal apology that I extended to them, I was still haunted by guilt and it continues so until this day.

As regards the interview I gave to the Prosecutor, one should bear in mind that I gave that interview immediately after being the first to come voluntarily to The Hague at the time when The Hague Tribunal was a taboo topic in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that for me, the mere fact of voluntary surrender was too great a burden so that I did not have enough strength or courage to do an additional step and immediately admit my guilt.

This is why I value even more the fact that you allowed me to once again publicly extend apology to all of them. Thank you.

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