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The Hague, 9 October 2001
Judge Rodrigues confirms Indictment charging Slobodan Milosevic with Crimes committed in Croatia
On Monday 8 October 2001, Judge Almiro Rodrigues confirmed an indictment charging Slobodan Milosevic with crimes committed in Croatia between at least 1 August 1991 and June 1992. The indictment was submitted to Judge Rodrigues by the Prosecutor of the ICTY, Carla Del Ponte, on 27 September 2001.
According to the indictment, confirmed on 8 October 2001, Slobodan Milosevic participated in a joint criminal enterprise between at least 1 August 1991 and June 1992. The purpose of this enterprise was the forcible removal of the majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from approximately one-third of the territory of the Republic of Croatia, an area he planned to become part of a new Serb-dominated state. This area included those regions that were referred to by Serb authorities as the "Serbian Autonomous District ("SAO") Krajina", the "SAO Western Slavonia", and the "SAO Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem" (collectively referred to by Serb Authorities after 19 December 1991 as the "Republic of Serbian Krajina ("RSK")) and "Dubrovnik Republic".
It is alleged that, during the above period, Serb forces, comprised of Yugoslav People’s Army ("JNA") units, local Territorial Defence ("TO") units and TO units from Serbia and Montenegro, local and Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs ("MUP") police units and paramilitary units, attacked and took control of towns, villages and settlements in the territories listed above. After the take-over, the Serb forces, in co-operation with the local Serb authorities, established a regime of persecutions designed to drive the Croat and other non-Serb civilian population from these territories.
This regime included the extermination, wilful killing or murder of hundreds of Croat and other non-Serb civilians, including women and elderly persons, the deportation or forcible transfer of at least 170,000 Croat and other non-Serb civilians and the arrest and unlawful confinement or imprisonment under inhumane conditions of thousands of Croat and other non-Serb civilians. As a result, virtually the whole of the Croat and other non-Serb civilian population were forcibly removed, deported or killed in the "Serbian Autonomous District ("SAO") Krajina", the "SAO Western Slavonia", and the "SAO Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem" regions.
Further, public and private property in all the relevant areas were intentionally and wantonly destroyed and plundered, including homes, religious, historical and cultural buildings.
According to the indictment, during the relevant period, Slobodan Milosevic was President of the Republic of Serbia and as such exercised effective control or substantial influence over the participants of the joint criminal enterprise and, either alone or acting in concert with others, effectively controlled or substantially influenced the actions of the Federal Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia ("SFRY") and later the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ("FRY"), the Serbian MUP, the JNA, the Serb-run TO staff in the relevant territories, and the Serb volunteer groups.
The indictment charges Slobodan Milosevic on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) of the Statute) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3)) with:
- Grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (Article 2 - wilful killing; unlawful confinement; torture; wilfully causing great suffering; unlawful deportation or transfer; extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly),
- Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 - murder; torture; cruel treatment; wanton destruction of villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity; destruction or wilful damage done to institutions dedicated to education or religion; plunder of public or private property; attacks on civilians; destruction or wilful damage done to historic monuments and institutions dedicated to education or religion; unlawful attacks on civilian objects), and
- Crimes against humanity (Article 5 - persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; extermination; murder; imprisonment; torture; inhumane acts; deportation; inhumane acts (forcible transfers)).
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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