Legacy website of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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Guilty Pleas

Under the Tribunal’s rules, an accused can enter a plea agreement expressing his or her admission of guilt to all or certain charges. Such an agreement is negotiated between the Prosecution and the accused. The Trial Chamber is not involved in the negotiation of the plea agreement, but it has to accept it for the agreement to come into force. In order for a plea of guilty to be accepted, the Trial Chamber has to be satisfied that it is voluntary, informed and unequivocal and that facts point to the accused’s responsibility for the charged crime.

Where the accused pleads guilty only to certain charges, the prosecution may withdraw the other charges and apply to the Trial Chamber to amend the indictment accordingly. Guilty pleas render a trial unnecessary and lead directly to a sentencing hearing and the imposition of a sentence.

As part of the plea agreement, both parties may ask for a specific sentence. However, the Trial Chamber is not bound by the plea agreement and can use its discretion in determining the sentence.

To date, twenty such agreements have been entered: Milan Babić, Predrag Banović, Miroslav Bralo, Ranko Češić, Miroslav Deronjić, Damir Došen, Dražen Erdemovič, Miodrag Jokić, Goran Jelisić, Dragan Kolundžija, Darko Mrđa, Dragan Nikolić, Momir Nikolić, Dragan Obrenović, Biljana Plavšić, Ivica Rajić, Duško Sikirica, Milan Simić, Stevan Todorović, Dragan Zelenović.