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Trial Chamber Judgement in the Stanišić and Simatović case to be rendered on 30 May 2013

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 15 May 2013

Trial Chamber Judgement in the Stanišić and Simatović case to be rendered on 30 May 2013

Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović

The Trial Chamber Judgment in the case of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, former Chief of the Serbian State Security Service and former commander of the Special Operations Unit of the Serbian State Security Service, accused of crimes committed against non-Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia between 1991 and 1995, will be rendered on Thursday, 30 May at 16:00 in Courtroom I.

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

The Prosecution alleges that the two accused 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. Stanišić and Simatović are further charged with planning, ordering, and otherwise aiding and abetting the crimes. According to the indictment, the accused helped set up centres where volunteers and conscripts were trained and later deployed to the special units of the Serbian State Security Service and to locations in Croatia.The units included, among others, the Red Berets, Scorpions, Arkan's Tigers, “Martić'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).

Stanišić and Simatović face charges of persecutions, murder, deportation and forcible transfer. These charges relate to locations in the SAO Krajina and the SAO SBWS and the municipalities of Bijeljina, Bosanski Šamac, Doboj, Sanski Most and Zvornik in BiH. They are also charged with the murder of six prisoners captured after the fall of Srebrenica, committed and videotaped by members of the Scorpions special unit. The initial indictment against Stanišić and Simatović was filed on 1 May 2003. Both accused were arrested by Serbian authorities on 13 March 2003. Simatović was transferred to the ICTY's custody on 30 May 2003 and Stanišić on 11 June 2003. Simatović and Stanišić pleaded not guilty to all charges at their initial appearances which were held on 2 June 2003 and 13 June 2003 respectively.

The trial was initially scheduled to commence on 28 February 2008. However, due to the ill-health of Jovica Stanišić, the commencement of the trial was postponed on a number of occasions. The trial re-commenced on 9 June 2009. The Prosecution rested its case on 5 April 2011 after calling 62 witnesses. The Defence case commenced on 15 June 2011 and was officially closed on 17 September 2012. Stanišić’s Defence called 19 witnesses while 14 testified on behalf of Simatović. The closing arguments were held from 29 to 31 January 2013.

Since its establishment, the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 136 have been concluded. Proceedings are currently ongoing for 25 accused.

Case information

The Judgement will be broadcast live on the Tribunal’s website

The Spokesperson for Registry and Chambers, Magdalena Spalińska, can be reached on +31 (0)6 5127 1242 or +31(0)70 512 5066 and spalinska [at] un.org

For further information please call the Media Office at +31 (70) 512-8752 or -5343 or -5356.