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The Hague, 22 March 2006
Appeals Chamber Confirms Milomir Stakic's Conviction
The Tribunal's Appeals Chamber today confirmed the conviction of Milomir Stakic, the leading political figure in the Bosnian municipality of Prijedor, for crimes committed there in 1992 and sentenced him to 40 years in prison.
On 31 July 2003, the Trial Chamber found Milomir Stakic, the former President of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly, guilty of participating in the murder, extermination and persecutions (incorporating deportation) of non-Serbs in Prijedor in 1992. The Trial Chamber held Milomir Stakic responsible for more than 1,500 killings and identified 486 victims by name. For these crimes the Trial Chamber sentenced him to life imprisonment, the maximum penalty.
Both the Prosecution and the Defence appealed the Trial Chamber's judgement. Milomir Stakic also appealed his sentence. In addition, the Appeals Chamber, in accordance with the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence, considered certain issues of its own initiative. Most of the Appeals Chamber's findings relate to specific legal issues.
In its judgement, the Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber's decision to convict Milomir Stakic for his responsibility in exterminating, murdering and persecuting the non-Serb population in Prijedor. The Appeals Chamber also found that the Trial Chamber incorrectly failed to convict him for deporting and forcibly transferring the non-Serb population. The Appeals Chamber agreed with the Trial Chamber's decision to acquit Milomir Stakic of genocide and complicity in genocide.
One of the issues the Appeals Chamber addressed of its own initiative was how to legally define Milomir Stakic's responsibility for the crimes he committed. The Appeals Chamber found that Milomir Stakic participated in a joint criminal enterprise whose purpose was to commit crimes against the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat populations of Prijedor. These crimes were part of a campaign to persecute the non-Serb population of Prijedor, with the final goal of creating a Serbian municipality eventually to form part of an envisaged pure Serbian state.
The Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber committed some errors in determining Milomir Stakic's sentence. However, it also found that the impact of these errors on the sentence is very limited.
Milomir Stakic is one of 14 accused convicted of crimes committed in Prijedor.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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