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Appeals Chamber reduces Radoslav Brđanin's sentence to 30 years

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 3 April 2007


The Tribunal's Appeals Chamber today sentenced Radoslav Brđanin to 30 years' imprisonment.

Brđanin, a former political leader of the Serb-run Autonomous Region of Krajina (ARK) in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina, was sentenced to 32 years' imprisonment on 1 September 2004. He was found guilty of crimes including persecutions, torture, deportations and forcible transfer committed against non-Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and particularly in the ARK during 1992.

In his appeal, Brđanin challenged dozens of factual findings of the Trial Chamber. While the Appeals Chamber dismissed most of these challenges, it allowed two grounds of his appeal.

The Appeals Chamber reversed the finding of the Trial Chamber that Brđanin's conduct had a substantial effect on the commission of torture in detention camps committed by members of Bosnian Serb forces in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina. It established that "the Trial Chamber reached this conclusion without any evidence that such personnel were even aware of Brđanin's public attitude towards the camps and facilities". 

In addition, the Appeals Chamber reversed Brđanin's conviction for wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity to the extent that this conviction relates to the municipality of Bosanska Krupa.

The Appeals Chamber addressed in a substantial fashion and dismissed numerous other challenges Brđanin raised, including assertions that "severe pain and suffering" does not constitute torture and that certain acts of torture - namely, rapes and sexual assaults - were individual domestic crimes rather than crimes committed in the context of an armed conflict or as part of a widespread and systematic attack.

In particular, the Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber's conclusion about the nature of the Strategic Plan to create a Serbian entity from which most non-Serbs would be permanently removed; the authority of the ARK Crisis Staff over municipal authorities, including the Prijedor municipality; the relationship between the ARK and other bodies, such as the Bosnian Serb Army, the police, and the paramilitary groups; and the contribution of ARK Crisis Staff decisions to the dismissals, disarmament, and resettlement of the non-Serb population.  The Appeals Chamber affirmed the Trial Chamber's findings that Brđanin had knowledge of, and made a contribution to the Strategic Plan and that Brđanin knew that crimes were being committed in furtherance of the Strategic Plan.

The Appeals Chamber granted the prosecution's appeals on questions of law dealing with Brđanin's participation in a Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE), his responsibility for acts committed by non-members of it and the scale of crimes to which the doctrine of JCE can be applied. It however, stated that these findings cannot result in new convictions for Brđanin. Other appeals by the prosecution were dismissed.

Since the Appeals Chamber reversed certain convictions, it proceeded to reduce the sentence given to Brđanin.  However, in light of the gravity of the crimes for which Brđanin's convictions were overturned and that of the crimes for which Brđanin's convictions were upheld, as well as the relevant aggravating and mitigating circumstances, this reduction was limited.


The full text of the summary of the judgement can be found at the following link:
English http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pr1151e-summary.htm
French http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pr1151f-summary.htm

The full text of the judgement can be found at the following link:

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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