Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusivement à l’attention des media. Document non officiel)
The Hague, 11 December 2001
STEVAN TODOROVIC TRANSFERRED TO SPAIN TO SERVE PRISON SENTENCE
On Tuesday 11 December 2001, Stevan Todorovic was transferred to Spain to serve his sentence as handed down by a Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Spain became the seventh United Nations Member State to enter into an Enforcement of Sentences Agreement with the Tribunal on 28 March 2000. The other countries are Italy (signed on 6 February 1997), Finland (7 May 1997), Norway (24 April 1998), Sweden (23 February 1999), Austria (23 July 1999) and France (25 February 2000).
The agreement differs from other agreements signed by states with the United Nations on the enforcement of sentences in that it provides for inspections of the conditions of detention and treatment of the convicted persons by a Parity Commission instead of by the ICRC. In addition, it provides that Spain will only consider the enforcement of sentences pronounced by the
International Tribunal where the duration of the sentence imposed does not exceed the highest maximum sentence for any crime under Spanish law (currently 30 years).
Stevan Todorovic was originally one of the five co-accused in the Simic & others case. The second amended indictment, confirmed on 11 December l998 (as redacted on 25 March 1999 to remove the aliases of the accused), alleged that, on 17 April 1992 Serb military forces from the former Yugoslavia forcibly seized control of the town of Bosanski Samac and subsequently took
control of the whole municipality of Bosanski Samac announcing that the government of the municipality had been replaced by the "Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac". Before the take over 17,000 Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims resided in the municipality, by May 1995 fewer than 300 remained.
It was also alleged that, on or about 13 July 1992, the Bosnian Serb Army forcibly seized control of the neighbouring municipality of Odzak and subsequently established the "Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac Crisis Staff" (Serb Crisis Staff) to maintain control over the municipal government. Before the take over, 22,500 Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims resided in the
municipality, by May 1995 virtually all had fled, been forced to leave or killed. "Ethnic cleansing" continued in both municipalities after the take-overs.
The accused was specifically charged for his alleged involvement in committing, planning, instigating, ordering or otherwise aiding and abetting a campaign of persecutions and "ethnic cleansing" and committing other serious violations of international humanitarian law directed against the Bosnian Croat, Bosnian Muslim and other non-Serb civilians residing in the Bosanski Samac and
Odzak municipalities in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina from approximately 1 September 1991 until 31 December 1993.
According to the indictment Stevan Todorovic was Chief of Police for Bosanski Samac municipality and a member of the Serb Crisis Staff from 17 April 1992. He occupied a position of superior authority to all other police officers in Bosanski Samac.
The indictment charged the accused on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1)) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3)) with crimes against humanity (Article 5 – persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds.
On 13 December 2000 there was a hearing on the joint ex parte and confidential motion filed by the Office of the Prosecutor and counsel for Stevan Todorovic, dated 29 November 2000. The joint motion reflected a negotiated plea agreement whereby Stevan Todorovic would plead “guilty” to Count 1 of the indictment, namely persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds,
as a crime against humanity. The agreement also provided that the accused would withdraw all Motions pending before the Trial Chamber relating to the evidentiary hearing regarding the circumstances of his arrest and his request for judicial assistance. Specifically, he would withdraw the allegations that his arrest was unlawful and that SFOR or NATO was involved in any unlawful
activity in relation to his arrest.
The prosecution stated that it would formally request the withdrawal of Counts 2 to 27 of the indictment (deportation and transfer, killing, beatings, sexual assaults and torture) against Stevan Todorovicand would recommend to the Trial Chamber that it imposes a sentence of not less than five years and not more than 12 years.
On 19 January 2001, the Trial Chamber entered "a finding of guilt on the basis of the guilty plea" having satisfied itself that the conditions laid down in Rule 62 bis were met.
Separation of proceedings
On 24 January 2001, the Trial Chamber issued an Order separating the proceedings against the accused Stevan Todorovic from those against his four co-accused (see Simic & others case).
The Sentencing Judgement
The sentencing hearing was held on 4 May 2001. On 31 July 2001, the Trial Chamber sentenced Todorovic to ten years’ imprisonment.
Credit for time served
The accused is entitled to credit for the time he has spent in detention, since 27 September 1998.