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Blaškić Case Concluded

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 24 November 2006

Blaškić Case Concluded

The Tribunal's Appeals Chamber dismissed in its entirety the prosecution's request for review of the appeals judgement in the case of Tihomir Blaškić, a Bosnian Croat general, thus bringing the case to a close.

In its request, prosecution argued that the Appeals Chamber should, in light of six new facts discovered, review its judgement which overturned the Trial Chamber's finding that Blaškić was responsible for ordering the massacre in the village of Ahmići on 16 April 1993 and that he was responsible for crimes committed in the village of Grbavica, both in Central Bosnia. The Appeals Chamber in yesterday's decision found that the prosecution's request for review did not contain 'new facts' in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, but rather additional evidence in relation to facts considered earlier in the case. It concluded that a review of the appeals judgement was not warranted on that basis.

This effectively concludes the case against Blaškić, a former commander of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) indicted on 10 November 1995. Blaškić was charged with, inter alia, persecutions, unlawful attacks against the civilian population, wilful killing, taking civilian hostages and using them as human shields and crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims in central Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1 May 1992 and 31 January 1994.

On 3 March 2000, Trial Chamber sentenced Blaškić to 45 years' imprisonment after finding him guilty of committing, ordering, planning, or otherwise aiding and abetting, various crimes against the Bosnian Muslim population in central Bosnia. Blaškić appealed the judgement and on 29 June 2004 Appeals Chamber reversed several findings of the Trial Chamber, including his responsibility for crimes in Ahmići and Grbavica, and reduced the sentence to nine years. He was released on 2 August 2004, after being granted early release by the Tribunal's President.

Full text of the Appeals Chamber decision on review can be found on the Tribunal's website at: http://www.icty.org/x/cases/blaskic/acdec/en/061123.pdf