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Ljubomir Borovčanin transferred to Denmark to serve sentence

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

The Hague, 11 November 2011

Ljubomir Borovčanin transferred to Denmark to serve sentence


 Ljubomir Borovčanin

Ljubomir Borovčanin, former Deputy Commander of the Republika Srpska Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) Special Police Brigade, was transferred yesterday to Denmark to serve his 17-year sentence for crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims during and following the fall of the Srebrenica and Žepa enclaves in July 1995, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Borovčanin was one of seven former high-ranking Bosnian Serb military and police officials convicted in the Popović et al. case. The Trial Chamber rendered its judgement in the case on 10 June 2010 and convicted Borovčanin of aiding and abetting extermination, murder, persecution and forcible transfer. Borovčanin was also found guilty on the basis of command responsibility of murder as a crime against humanity and as a violation of the laws and customs of war, for failing to punish his subordinates who took part in the killing of prisoners in front of the warehouse in Kravica. Borovčanin was the only accused in the case not to appeal his 17-year sentence.

In rendering its judgement, the Trial Chamber found, by majority, that with his presence in Potočari on 12 July and what he witnessed there, Borovčanin knew that there was a forcible transfer of the civilian population of Srebrenica taking place. On 13 July 1995, Borovčanin was present at the Kravica warehouse were over 1,000 Bosnian Muslim men were detained. There he saw a busload of dead bodies in front of the warehouse and had sufficient information that his subordinates had committed the crime of murder. Borovčanin however failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures required to punish his subordinates.

After seeing the evidence of executions, Borovčanin removed himself and his men from the Kravica warehouse as quickly as he could. The Chamber found that Borovčanin had the means to protect the remaining prisoners and knew that it was probable that the prisoners would be killed. The Chamber concluded that his failure to protect them substantially contributed to the full-scale execution which later took place at the Kravica Warehouse.

Persons convicted of crimes by the Tribunal do not serve their sentence in the ICTY’s Detention Unit, as it is not a penitentiary. Sentences are served outside the Netherlands in a State that has signed an agreement on enforcement of sentences with the ICTY. To date, the Tribunal has signed agreements on the enforcement of sentences with 17 States.

On 21 April 2011, the President of the Tribunal issued his decision, designating Denmark as the State in which Borovčanin is to serve his sentence. Borovčanin is the fourth convicted person to be transferred to Denmark. The Tribunal commends the Danish authorities for their continued support in ensuring the enforcement of the Tribunal’s sentences and calls upon Member States to assist it in securing additional enforcement capacity.

Since its inception 18 years ago, the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 126 persons have been concluded and are currently ongoing for 35 accused.


Case information sheet

Enforcement of sentences

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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