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Stanišić & Simatović trial scheduled to begin 10 March 2008


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

The Hague, 6 March 2008


The trial of Jovica Stanišić, a former close aide to the wartime Serbian leader Slobodan Milosević, and Franko Simatović, a commander of elite Serb forces, is scheduled to begin with the opening statement of the Prosecution on Monday, 10 March 2008, at 14:15 in Courtroom III.

Stanišić and Simatović are accused of having directed, organized, equipped, trained, armed and financed secret units of the Serbian State Security which murdered, persecuted and deported Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serb civilians from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia between 1991 and 1995.

Stanišić was Head of the State Security Service of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia between 31 December 1991 and 27 October 1998. Simatović was the commander of the Special Operations Unit of the State Security Service during the relevant period.

The Prosecution alleges that the two participated in a Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE), the objective of which was the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of Croats, Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from large areas in the two countries.

Other alleged members of the JCE included Slobodan Milošević, Ratko Mladić, Milan Martić, Radovan Karadžić, Biljana Plavšić, Željko Ražnatović Arkan and Vojislav Šešelj. The objectives of the JCE, according to the Prosecution, were to be achieved through persecutions, murder, deportations and forcible transfers.

Stanišić and Simatović are charged with planning, ordering, committing or otherwise aiding and abetting the crimes carried out by the secret units which alone or in conjunction with other Serb forces, attacked and took control of towns and villages across Croatia and BiH. According to the indictment, the accused helped set up centres where armed units were trained and later
deployed to the special units.

The special units included, among others, the Red Berets, Scorpions, Arkan's Tigers, “Martic's Police”, Militia of the so-called Serbian Autonomous District of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srijem/Srem (SAO SBWS), Special Operation Units (JSO) and anti-terrorist units (JATD).

Charges contained in the indictment include murders committed in Baćin, Saborsko, Poljanak, Lipovača, Škabrnja, Bruška, Dalj and Erdut in Croatia, and Bosanski Šamac, Doboj, Sanski Most and Zvornik in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the murder of six prisoners captured after the fall of Srebrenica, committed and captured on videotape by members of the Scorpions special


The initial indictment against Stanišić and Simatović was filed in May 2003. Stanišić was transferred to the ICTY's custody by Serbian authorities in June and Simatović in May 2003. Both pleaded not guilty to all counts in the indictment in June 2003.

Stanišić and Simatović were granted provisional release on 3 December 2004 and returned to the Detention Unit on 11 February 2008.


Full text of the indictment can be found at


Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website at