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Blagoje Simić transferred to serve sentence

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

The Hague, 27 March 2007

Blagoje Simić transferred to serve sentence

Blagoje Simić, a former Bosnian Serb politician in the Bosanski Šamac municipality, was transferred today to the United Kingdom to serve his sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

On 17 October 2003, Simić was convicted and sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment by the Trial Chamber for persecutions of non-Serb civilians in the municipality of Bosanski Šamac between 17 April 1992 and 31 December 1993. The non-Serb civilians were detained and confined under inhumane conditions, lacking sufficient space, food or water and were subjected to torture including sexual assaults, the extraction of teeth and threat of execution.

In its judgement rendered on 28 November 2006, the Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber found that Simić was not informed that he was being accused of participating in a joint criminal enterprise until the Prosecution had finished presenting its case, which rendered the trial unfair. It also reversed Simić’s conviction for persecution due to cruel and inhumane treatment in the form of torture and beating.

However, the Appeals Chamber upheld Simić’s conviction for aiding and abetting persecution in the form of the unlawful arrests and detention of non-Serb civilians, confinement of non-Serb prisoners in inhumane conditions, forced labour by Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims, and forced displacement of non-Serb civilians.

The Appeals Chamber found that the re-characterisation of the Simić’s criminal conduct and quashing of his conviction for acts of torture and beating required an adjustment of his sentence, reducing it to 15 years’ imprisonment.

For a complete overview of the case, the case information sheet can be found on the Tribunal’s website at http://www.icty.org/x/cases/simic/cis/en/cis_simic_et_al.pdf

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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