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Momćilo Krajišnik Convicted of Crimes Against Humanity, Acquitted of Genocide and Complicity in Genocide

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

The Hague, 27 September 2006

Momćilo Krajišnik convicted of crimes against humanity, acquitted of genocide and complicity in genocide

Tribunal judges today sentenced Momćilo Krajišnik, a former member of the Bosnian Serb leadership, to 27 years, convicting him of persecutions, extermination, murder, deportation and forced transfer of non-Serb civilians during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Trial Chamber acquitted him of genocide, complicity in genocide and one count of murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war.

The Trial Chamber established the existence of a joint criminal enterprise, involving Radovan Karadžić and other Bosnian Serb leaders, intended to, "ethnically recompose the territories targeted by the Bosnian-Serb leadership by drastically reducing the proportion of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats through expulsion". The Chamber found that "Mr Krajišnik gave the go-ahead for the expulsion programme to commence during a session of the Bosnian-Serb Assembly when he called for "implementing what we have agreed upon, the ethnic division on the ground"".

The Trial Chamber further found that although the original crimes of the joint criminal enterprise were limited to deportation and forced transfer, the evidence also shows that ".the criminal means of the enterprise very soon grew to include other crimes of persecution, as well as murder, and extermination."

"Immense suffering was inflicted upon the victims in this case, and the consequences that the crimes have had on the Muslim and Croat ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina are profound. The crimes were committed over a long period of time, often through brutal methods, with hatred or appalling lack of concern," reads the summary of the judgement.

The judges found that Krajišnik's role in the commission of the crimes for which he was convicted was "crucial" as he held senior positions within the Bosnian-Serb leadership. The judgement states that "Mr Krajišnik wanted the Muslim and Croat populations moved out of Bosnian-Serb territories in large numbers, and accepted that a heavy price of suffering, death, and destruction was necessary to achieve Serb domination and a viable statehood."

In the summary of its judgement, the Trial Chamber notes that although the crimes that took place ".constituted the actus reus of genocide.", the evidence "does not show that.the crime of genocide formed part of the common objective of the joint criminal enterprise in which Mr Krajišnik is shown on the evidence to have participated, nor that Mr Krajišnik had the specific intent necessary for genocide.

The full summary of the judgement as read out by Presiding Judge Orie can be found at:

http://www.icty.org/x/cases/krajisnik/tjug/en/060927_Krajisnik_summary_en.pdf (English) and
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/krajisnik/tjug/fr/060927_Krajisnik_summary_fr.pdf (in French)

The full judgement can be found at:

http://www.icty.org/x/cases/krajisnik/tjug/en/kra-jud060927e.pdf (English) and
http://www.icty.org/x/cases/krajisnik/tjug/fr/060927.pdf (French)

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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