1 Thursday, 24 March 2016
2 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, everyone.
7 Could the Registrar call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-95-5/18-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Radovan Karadzic.
11 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is sitting today to deliver its
12 judgement in this case.
13 Could we have the appearances, please.
14 For the Prosecution.
15 MR. TIEGER: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. And
16 good afternoon to all those in and outside the courtroom. Appearing for
17 the Prosecution today are Alan Tieger, Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff,
18 Ann Sutherland, Carolyn Edgerton, and Katrina Gustafson.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: And, Mr. President, I should mention someone we
21 would never have forgotten and that is our case manager, Mr. Iain Reid.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you Mr. Tieger.
23 For the Defence. Mr. Karadzic.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Excellency. Good
25 day to everyone. I am assisted today by my legal advisors,
1 Mr. Peter Robinson, Mr. Goran Petronjevic, Mr. Marko Sladojevic, and my
2 associates Aleksandar Vujic and Aleksandar Stevanovic.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Karadzic.
4 The accused was a founding member of the SDS and served as its
5 president from July 1990 to July 1996. He was the president of the
6 National Security Council of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina and on the 12th of May, 1992, the accused was elected as the
8 president of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina. From the 17th of December, 1992, he was the sole president
10 of Republika Srpska and the supreme commander of the armed forces of
11 Republika Srpska.
12 The accused stood trial for 11 counts: Two counts of genocide;
13 five counts of crimes against humanity, namely, persecution, murder,
14 extermination, deportation, and forcible transfer; and four counts of
15 violations of the laws or customs of war, namely, murder, acts of
16 violence, the primary of purpose of which was to spread terror among the
17 civilian population, unlawful attacks on civilians, and the taking of
19 In the indictment, the Prosecution alleged that the accused
20 participated in four joint criminal enterprises. Hereinafter, I refer to
21 joint criminal enterprises as JCEs. The Prosecution alleged the
23 First, from at least October 1991 to 30 November 1995, the
24 accused participated in a JCE, the objective of which was to permanently
25 remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed
1 territory in BiH through the crimes charged therein. This is the alleged
2 overarching JCE.
3 Second, between April 1992 and November 1995, the accused
4 participated in a JCE to establish and carry out a campaign of sniping
5 and shelling against the civilian population of Sarajevo, the primary
6 purpose of which was to spread terror among the civilian population.
7 This is the alleged Sarajevo JCE.
8 Third, between approximately 26th of May and the 19th of June,
9 1995, the accused participated in a JCE to take hostage over
10 200 UN peacekeepers and Military Observers in order to compel NATO to
11 abstain from conducting air-strikes against Bosnian Serb military
12 targets. This is the alleged hostages JCE.
13 And fourth, between the days preceding the 11th of July, 1995,
14 and continuing until the 1st of November, 1995, the accused participated
15 in a JCE to eliminate the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica by killing the
16 men and boys of Srebrenica and forcibly removing the women, young
17 children, and some elderly men. This is the alleged Srebrenica JCE.
18 In addition, the Prosecution charged the accused for having
19 planned, instigated, ordered, and/or aided and abetted the crimes in the
20 indictment. It also charged the accused as a superior pursuant to
21 Article 7(3) of the Statute.
22 While the Prosecution made its opening statement on 27th of
23 October and the 2nd of November, 2009, the first witness for the
24 Prosecution was heard on the 13th of April, 2010. Closing arguments were
25 heard between the 30th of September and the 7th of October, 2014. The
1 Chamber sat for 498 trial days, during which it heard the evidence of
2 434 witnesses. It further received the evidence of 152 additional
3 witnesses in writing. In total, 11.469 exhibits were tendered into
4 evidence. The complete trial record amounts to over 48.000 transcript
5 pages, over 95.000 pages of filings, and over 190.000 pages of admitted
6 exhibits, totalling to over 330.000 pages of trial record.
7 The Chamber's findings and the reasons for these findings will
8 now be summarised. However, it should be noted that this is only a
9 summary and does not in any way form part of the judgement of the
10 Chamber. The only authoritative account of the findings of the Chamber
11 is in the written judgement. Confidential copies will be made available
12 to the parties at the end of these proceedings, and a public redacted
13 version will be also be made available to the public.
14 Before addressing the four components set out earlier, the
15 Chamber finds on the basis of the evidence that there was an armed
16 conflict in BiH throughout the period relevant to the indictment and that
17 the other general requirements for crimes under Article 3 of the Statute
18 are met. In relation to crimes against humanity, it finds that there
19 existed a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian
20 populations at all times relevant to the indictment, that the relevant
21 crimes formed part of that attack, and that the perpetrators knew that
22 the crimes were part of that attack.
23 The Chamber will first address the municipalities component of
24 the case and the alleged overarching JCE. It is alleged that crimes were
25 committed in the municipalities of Bijeljina, Bratunac, Brcko, Foca,
1 Rogatica, Sokolac, Visegrad, Vlasenica, and Zvornik in eastern BiH; in
2 the municipalities of Banja Luka, Bosanski Novi, Kljuc, Prijedor, and
3 Sanski Most in the Autonomous Region of Krajina or ARK; in the
4 municipalities of Hadzici, Ilidza, Novi Grad, Novo Sarajevo, Pale, and
5 Vogosca in the Sarajevo region. I will refer to these locations as the
7 The Chamber finds that beginning at the end of March 1992 and
8 continuing through 1992, Serb forces took control of municipalities in
9 Bosnian Serb-claimed territory in BiH. During the course of and after
10 these well-planned and co-ordinated take-overs, there was an organised
11 and systematic pattern of crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and
12 Bosnian Croats who resided in the municipalities.
13 The Chamber finds that a vast number of Bosnian Muslims and
14 Bosnian Croats in the municipalities were forcibly displaced from their
15 homes to other locations in BiH or to third states.
16 The accused's case was that the population movements in BiH were
17 voluntary and a natural consequence of the war, and that there was no
18 policy of expulsion. The Chamber finds, to the contrary, that in many
19 cases, the victims were forced to leave following attacks against their
20 villages or after the take-over of towns by Serb forces.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE KWON: Other victims were first arrested, detained in
23 detention facilities, and then transported out of the municipalities.
24 These expulsions resulted in drastic changes to the ethnic composition in
25 the municipalities.
1 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats were also removed from
2 positions of authority and dismissed from their employment in multiple
3 municipalities. In addition to unlawful arrests and arbitrary searches,
4 there were restrictions placed on the movement of Bosnian Muslims in some
5 of the municipalities. Thousands of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
6 civilians were unlawfully detained in around 50 detention facilities
7 across the municipalities. Non-Serbs were often arrested en masse and
8 taken to these detention facilities from their homes following attacks on
9 villages or towns. However, the Chamber notes that it did not enter a
10 finding of unlawful detention with respect to the detainees who were
11 combatants or civilians who had actively taken part in hostilities.
12 Bosnian Serb political and governmental organs and Serb forces
13 also established and perpetuated inhumane living conditions at a number
14 of detention facilities. The victims were subjected to deplorable living
15 conditions. Food and water were lacking, medical care was inadequate or
16 nonexistent. Sanitation and hygiene facilities were poor as were
17 sleeping conditions. In many of these detention facilities, detainees
18 were also subjected to torture, beatings, and physical and psychological
19 abuse by Serb forces. During their detention, Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian
20 Croat women and men were subjected to rape and other acts of sexual
21 violence by members of the Serb forces. These crimes resulted in serious
22 mental or physical suffering or injury to the victims. Non-Serb
23 detainees were also forced to perform labour at the front lines or were
24 used as human shields to protect Serb forces.
25 Following or during their expulsion from their homes, the
1 property of the victims were seized by the Bosnian Serb authorities.
2 There was also wide-spread looting of non-Serb property and extensive
3 destruction of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat villages and property by
4 Serb forces in many of the municipalities. Serb forces destroyed
5 multiple mosques, Catholic churches, and other cultural monuments and
6 sacred sites in Bratunac, Bosanski Novi, Foca, Kljuc, Novi Grad,
7 Prijedor, Rogatica, Sanski Most, Sokolac, and Zvornik. The cultural
8 monuments and sacred sites were targeted for destruction given their
9 significance to the Bosnian Muslim or Bosnian Croat people in those
10 locations. However, while the Chamber also finds that cultural monuments
11 and sacred sites were destroyed in Bijeljina, Pale, and Vogosca, the
12 evidence presented was insufficient to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt
13 who was responsible for that destruction.
14 Serb forces also killed many Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats
15 during and after the take-over of the municipalities. Victims were
16 killed in mass executions or killed following attacks on non-Serb
17 villages. Victims were also shot during their detention, or were taken
18 away from detention facilities and killed by Serb forces. In other
19 cases, victims died as a result of severe beatings by Serb forces or died
20 as a result of the inhumane conditions which they were exposed to. With
21 respect to 26 of the alleged scheduled killing incidents, the Chamber
22 finds that the element of killing on a mass scale and such intent were
23 established and, therefore, that they amounted to extermination.
24 The Chamber also finds that the perpetrators chose their victims
25 in the municipalities on the basis of their identity as Bosnian Muslims
1 or Bosnian Croats and therefore that these crimes were committed with
2 discriminatory intent.
3 Accordingly, the Chamber concludes that members of the Serb
4 forces and Bosnian Serb political and governmental organs committed
5 murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war, and murder,
6 extermination, deportation, forcible transfer, and persecution as crimes
7 against humanity. Judge Howard Morrison appends a dissenting opinion in
8 relation to Scheduled Incident B12.2.
9 Under Count 1, the Prosecution alleged that in seven of the
10 municipalities, namely, Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most,
11 Vlasenica, and Zvornik, the alleged persecutory campaign included or
12 escalated to include conduct and intent which amounted to genocide. The
13 Chamber finds that in these municipalities members of the protected
14 groups, i.e., Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, were killed and
15 subjected to serious bodily or mental harm and therefore that the
16 actus reus requirements for Articles 4(2)(a) and 4(2)(b) of the Statute
17 have been satisfied. However, with respect to the acts under
18 Article 4(2)(c) of the Statute, while the Chamber finds that Bosnian
19 Muslim and Bosnian Croats were held in terrible conditions, it is not
20 convinced the evidence demonstrated that this amounted to conditions of
21 life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the Bosnian
22 Muslims or Bosnian Croats in these municipalities. Further, the Chamber
23 is not satisfied that the acts falling under Articles 4(2)(a) and 4(2)(b)
24 of the Statute were carried out with genocidal intent, that is, with
25 intent to destroy, in part, the Bosnian Muslim or Bosnian Croat groups as
2 In conclusion, the Chamber was unable to identify or infer
3 genocidal intent on the part of the accused, the alleged JCE members, the
4 physical perpetrators of these acts or from the pattern of crimes which
5 were committed in these municipalities. Having analysed the totality of
6 the evidence on this issue, the Chamber is not satisfied that the only
7 reasonable inference was that there existed intent to destroy part of the
8 Bosnian Muslim or Bosnian Croat groups in these municipalities as such.
9 The Chamber therefore does not have sufficient evidence to find beyond a
10 reasonable doubt that genocide was committed in these municipalities.
11 The Chamber now turns to the accused's responsibility for crimes
12 which were found to have been committed in the municipalities.
13 The crux of the accused's case was that the objectives of the
14 Bosnian Serb leadership were not criminal and did not entail the
15 commission of any crimes. In his submission, the movement of non-Serb
16 population in BiH was not the product of a JCE but was the result of
17 people voluntarily moving to areas which were controlled by their own
18 ethnic groups. In the accused's submission, any individual case of
19 forced expulsion was the product of hatred or revenge and it was never
20 the objective of the Bosnian Serb leadership. His Defence also suggested
21 that any crimes which were committed were isolated cases committed by
22 individuals, for example, paramilitaries, who were acting of their own
23 accord and not in furtherance of the alleged common criminal purpose. In
24 his case, the central authorities were unsuccessful in trying to exert
25 influence at the municipal level, and that in an environment of chaos he
1 was unable to do more than he did.
2 The Chamber finds, to the contrary, that the creation of parallel
3 Bosnian Serb political and governmental structures, the campaign of
4 forcible take-over of municipalities, and the expulsion of non-Serbs were
5 carefully co-ordinated, directed, and ultimately intended by the accused
6 and the Bosnian Serb leadership. In order to further these objectives,
7 precise directions in the form of the Variant A and B instructions and
8 the strategic goals were promulgated and promoted by the accused and the
9 Bosnian Serb leadership.
10 The Chamber weighed the evidence received on the acts and conduct
11 of the accused and other alleged members of the overarching JCE in light
12 of the systematic and organised manner in which crimes were committed in
13 each of the municipalities. On this basis, the Chamber finds that
14 between October 1991 and November 1995, there existed a common plan to
15 permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Bosnian
16 Serb-claimed territory through the commission of crimes. The accused,
17 Momcilo Krajisnik, Nikola Koljevic, Biljana Plavsic, Ratko Mladic,
18 Mico Stanisic, Momcilo Mandic, Zeljko Raznjatovic, also known as Arkan,
19 and Vojislav Seselj formed a plurality of persons who acted pursuant to
20 this common plan and shared the intent for the crimes which formed part
21 of the plan.
22 The Chamber also concludes that the accused significantly
23 contributed to the overarching JCE. The Chamber had regard to the impact
24 of his conduct by virtue of the functions and positions he held at the
25 time. The accused was at the forefront of developing and promoting the
1 idealogy and policies of the SDS and creating the parallel governmental,
2 military, police, and political structures that were used to establish
3 and maintain authority over Bosnian Serb-claimed territory and further
4 the objective of the overarching JCE. The accused was central in
5 outlining the goals of the Bosnian Serb leadership, including, separation
6 from Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, the take-over of Bosnian
7 Serb-claimed territory, and the creation of a largely ethnically
8 homogeneous Bosnian Serb state. The accused was also a central figure in
9 the dissemination of propaganda against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian
10 Croats, which identified them as the historic enemies of the Serbs and
11 insisted that co-existence was impossible. The accused played on this
12 historical narrative, and his rhetoric was used to engender fear and
13 hatred of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats and had the effect of
14 exacerbating ethnic divisions and tensions in BiH.
15 He was also at the apex of political, governmental, and military
16 structures and able to use his power and influence to further the
17 objective of the overarching JCE. He ultimately supported the military
18 implementation of their goals, which necessarily entailed the take-over
19 of territory and the forcible movement of the non-Serb population. He
20 was central to the mobilisation and creation of the Bosnian Serb TO, VRS,
21 and a separate Bosnian Serb police structure. Furthermore, following the
22 withdrawal of the JNA from BiH, the accused supported the operational
23 co-operation of military forces and local authorities and, in some
24 instances, paramilitaries. These military structures and units were used
25 to take over power and maintain Bosnian Serb authority in Bosnian
1 Serb-claimed territory and to further the objective of the overarching
2 JCE. While the accused did take some steps to control paramilitaries
3 later in the conflict, these measures were only taken after these
4 paramilitaries had been used to further the objectives of the overarching
5 JCE and once they started turning against the Bosnian Serb municipal
6 authorities. The accused and other members of the JCE used their
7 authority and influence over Crisis Staffs, TO, VRS, Bosnian Serb MUP,
8 and paramilitaries to carry out the crimes envisaged by the common plan
9 of the overarching JCE. Furthermore, at times, paramilitaries, local
10 Serbs, JNA, Bosnian Serb MUP, TO and VRS units acted at the behest of the
11 Crisis Staffs which were under the accused's authority and influence to
12 commit crimes in furtherance of the common plan. The crimes that were
13 committed by Serb forces in the municipalities are thus imputed to the
14 JCE members or to the accused.
15 While the civilian courts existed during the conflict and the
16 accused established the military courts, the judicial system functioned
17 in a discriminatory manner with a lack of attention to crimes committed
18 against non-Serbs. The accused's failure to exercise his authority to
19 adequately prevent or punish crimes committed against non-Serbs gave the
20 signal that such criminal acts would be tolerated throughout the period
21 of the overarching JCE and, therefore, had the effect of encouraging and
22 facilitating the crimes which formed part of the objective of the
23 overarching JCE.
24 At the same time that he was learning about crimes committed
25 against non-Serbs and not taking sufficient steps to prevent or punish
1 them, the accused consistently and systematically provided misleading
2 information to representatives of international organisations, the
3 public, and to the media in relation to these crimes. By his denials
4 that Serb forces were committing crimes in the municipalities and his
5 disingenuous portrayal of the reality on the ground, of which he was in
6 fact fully aware, the accused created an environment in which Serb forces
7 could continue to commit the crimes through which the common purpose of
8 the overarching JCE was implemented.
9 The accused and the other members of the overarching JCE were not
10 only informed about the forcible take-over of towns by Serb forces but
11 were also aware that this had led to massive demographic changes through
12 the forcible displacement of non-Serb civilians and resulted in ethnic
13 homogenisation, which they supported. In addition, the manner in which
14 the take-over of the municipalities was carried out by Serb forces also
15 involved the widespread practice of unlawfully arresting and detaining
16 thousands of non-Serbs prior to removing them from Bosnian Serb-claimed
17 territory. The accused and the Bosnian Serb leadership were not only
18 aware of these detention facilities but used such unlawful detention as a
19 core element in achieving the objective of the overarching JCE.
20 Based on these findings, the Chamber concludes that the only
21 reasonable inference is that the crimes of deportation, forcible
22 transfer, and persecution were intended by the overarching JCE members to
23 achieve their objective. The underlying acts of persecution which were
24 intended and formed part of the objective of the overarching JCE were
25 forcible transfer, deportation, unlawful detention, and the imposition
1 and maintenance of restrictive and discriminatory measures. The accused
2 and other members of the JCE shared the intent for these crimes.
3 However, the Chamber is not satisfied that the other underlying acts of
4 persecution or the crimes of murder and extermination were included in
5 the common plan or intended by the accused.
6 The Chamber now turns to determine whether these crimes were
8 The Chamber had regard to the broad geographical scope of the
9 common plan and finds that there was no genuine concern for the manner in
10 which power in the municipalities was taken and the plan of the
11 overarching JCE was executed. The Chamber finds that, having regard to
12 the nature of the common plan and the manner in which it was carried out,
13 it was foreseeable that Serb forces might commit violent crimes against
14 non-Serbs during and after the take-overs of the municipalities and the
15 campaign to forcibly remove non-Serbs. In addition, the evidence of the
16 accused's knowledge of criminal activity in the municipalities
17 demonstrates that he was well aware of the environment of extreme fear in
18 which non-Serbs were forced to leave. The Chamber further finds that the
19 accused knew that the common plan, whereby thousands of non-Serb
20 civilians were expelled en masse from their homes during and after the
21 forceable take-over of towns and villages and detained in facilities
22 throughout the municipalities, was carried out in a context of
23 interethnic animosity and violence. Furthermore, he knew that there was
24 a climate of impunity for crimes committed against non-Serbs.
25 Having weighed these factors, the Chamber finds that the accused
1 ought to have known that the non-Serb population was vulnerable to
2 violent crimes that might be perpetrated by members of the Serb forces
3 who were carrying out the common plan. The accused was indifferent to
4 that possibility and acted in furtherance of the common plan with the
5 awareness of the possibility that these crimes might be committed during
6 the execution of the common plan and he willing took that risk.
7 In consequence, the Chamber finds that murder, extermination, and
8 persecution were foreseeable to the accused. The underlying acts of
9 persecution which were foreseeable were cruel treatment, forceable labour
10 at the front lines, the use of non-Serbs as human shields, the
11 appropriation or plunder of property, and the wanton destruction of
12 private property, including cultural and sacred sites.
13 Therefore, in conclusion, in relation to the municipalities
14 component, the accused bears individual criminal responsibility pursuant
15 to Article 7(1) of the Statute for persecution, extermination, murder,
16 deportation, and forcible transfer as crimes against humanity; and
17 murder, a violation of the laws or customs of war. However, in light of
18 the conclusion the Chamber was not satisfied that genocide was committed
19 in the seven municipalities, the accused is not held responsible for
20 genocide under Count 1.
21 The Chamber will now address the Sarajevo component of the case
22 and the alleged Sarajevo JCE.
23 The Chamber finds that from late May 1992 until October 1995, the
24 civilian population of Sarajevo was shelled and sniped by members of the
25 Bosnian Serb forces, namely the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, or SRK.
1 Throughout this period, the SRK units held positions on the hills around
2 the city, thus encircling it and holding it under siege.
3 From their positions, they deliberately sniped at civilians in
4 Sarajevo, including at trams. This practice of sniping at civilians was
5 common and persistent. It took place on an almost daily basis, and
6 continued generally unabated during the entirety of the conflict.
7 Sarajevo civilians were sniped while fetching water, walking in the city,
8 and when using public transport. Furthermore, children were sniped at
9 while playing in front of their houses, walking with their parents or
10 walking home from school, and even when cycling. The SRK units would
11 open sniper fire on civilians on a number of notorious locations around
12 the city in which they had set up professionally constructed,
13 long-standing sniper nests.
14 The Chamber is also convinced that starting in late May 1992, the
15 SRK units engaged in deliberate shelling of the civilian population in
16 the city or opened disproportionate or indiscriminate fire on the city.
17 They did so using a multitude of heavy weapons, including 80- and
18 120-millimetre mortars, as well as artillery weapons, all of which were
19 located, more or less permanently, on the hills surrounding Sarajevo.
20 Thousands of shells fell on the city throughout the conflict including on
21 the residential areas and facilities such as hospital, markets, and other
22 locations where the civilian population would gather. There was often no
23 military value in the targets that were selected by SRK's firing crews,
24 and fire was randomly scattered around the city. In 1995, the SRK units
25 also launched a number of modified air bombs on the city, a weapon which
1 was highly destructive and yet had not been tested properly. As such,
2 these modified air bomb attacks were indiscriminate.
3 This practice of sniping and shelling of civilians continued for
4 over three years. Bearing in mind the longevity and the nature of the
5 practice, the Chamber finds that the intention of the SRK units and their
6 commanders was to target civilians and use indiscriminate or
7 disproportionate fire on the city. Thus, the Chamber is convinced that
8 the SRK conducted a campaign of sniping and shelling of Sarajevo with the
9 intention to, among other things, terrorise the civilian population
10 living there. The Chamber also finds that this campaign resulted in
11 thousands of wounded and killed civilians in the city during the relevant
12 time. Furthermore, the Chamber notes that all of the civilians living in
13 the city during that time experienced extreme fear and suffered great
14 hardship as they never knew when they would be targeted by the SRK.
15 The Chamber notes that in reaching these conclusions it relied
16 both on the general evidence relating to the situation in the city
17 between 1992 and 1995 and on the evidence concerning specific shelling
18 and sniping incidents listed in Schedules F and G of the indictment.
19 With respect to the latter, the Chamber finds the SRK responsible for all
20 but three of those incidents, namely, Scheduled Incidents F5, F7, and G6.
21 In addition, Judge Melville Baird appends his dissenting opinion in
22 relation to Scheduled Incident G8.
23 The accused argued that SRK units never targeted civilians but
24 were instead responding to attacks coming from the city and, in doing so,
25 focused on military targets located therein. The accused also argued
1 that the Bosnian Muslim side shelled and sniped its own civilians in
2 order to lay blame on the Bosnian Serbs and provoke an intervention by
3 the international community. However, in reaching the conclusion I
4 enunciated earlier, the Chamber rejected these claims by the accused.
5 The Chamber accepts that the war was waged by both sides, that
6 the two warring sides engaged each other throughout the conflict, and
7 that the SRK units also targeted military personnel and military
8 positions of their opponent. However, the evidence in this case is
9 replete with examples of SRK fire that was not directed at military
10 targets in the city but, rather, at civilian objects and of SRK fire that
11 was opened in a random or disproportionate manner. The specific
12 Scheduled Incidents for which the SRK was found to be responsible are
13 clear examples of such fire.
14 Further, the persistence of the sniping and shelling directed at
15 the civilian population and the high number of civilian casualties in the
16 city cannot be explained by the fact that the war in Sarajevo was waged
17 by both parties. It is therefore clear to the Chamber that civilians
18 were either directly targeted by the SRK as amply illustrated by the
19 scheduled sniping incidents, for example, or was subject to
20 indiscriminate or disproportionate fire, such as when the SRK launched
21 modified air bombs on the city or fired mortar shells on locations where
22 civilians would gather.
23 With respect to the accused's argument that Bosnian Muslim side
24 targeted its own civilians, the Chamber accepts that the Bosnian Muslim
25 side was intent on provoking the international community to act on its
1 behalf, and as a result, at times engaged in targeting UN personnel in
2 the city or opening fire on territory under its control in order to lay
3 blame on the Bosnian Serbs. However, the evidence indicates that the
4 occasions on which this happened pale in significance when compared to
5 the evidence relating to SRK fire on the city. As such, they do not
6 affect the Chamber's finding as to the SRK's practice of targeting the
7 civilians in the city or launching indiscriminate or disproportionate
9 The Chamber therefore finds that members of the SRK committed
10 murder, unlawful attacks on civilians, and terror as violations of the
11 laws or customs of war, and also murder as crime against humanity.
12 The Chamber now turns out to the accused's responsibility for
13 those crimes.
14 The accused's case in relation to this component was that there
15 was no Sarajevo JCE, no plan to establish a campaign of sniping and
16 shelling, and no intention to kill, attack or terrorize the civilian
17 population in the city. Instead, according to him, the city was engulfed
18 in war, and the terror that the population felt was simply a regular
19 consequence of that war. However, as I have already outlined, the
20 persistence of the sniping and shelling directed at the civilian
21 population and the high number of civilian casualties in the city cannot
22 be explained by the fact that there was a war in Sarajevo. In addition,
23 the Chamber is convinced that individual snipers or sniper units within
24 the SRK, as well as its mortar and artillery firing crews, were all under
25 the control of the SRK command and ultimately the VRS Main Staff.
1 Finally, from the very beginning of the conflict in BiH, the
2 political and military leadership of the Bosnian Serbs, particularly the
3 accused, Momcilo Krajisnik, Nikola Koljevic, Biljana Plavsic, and
4 Ratko Mladic, recognised and championed the importance of Sarajevo to the
5 Bosnian Serb cause and the conflict in BiH. The city was important not
6 only because of its symbolism and the fact that without it the Bosnian
7 Muslim side would not have a functioning independent state but also
8 because it carried special significance for the accused who had
9 considered it his home town. Because of this, they all desired to gain
10 control over Sarajevo, or at least parts thereof, a project to which they
11 were devoted throughout the conflict and which, given the multi-ethnic
12 nature of the city, could only be achieved by a wall of fire, that is,
13 through sniping and shelling.
14 Accordingly, the Chamber finds that there was a common plan that
15 started in late May 1992 and lasted through to October 1995, and that it
16 emanated from the Bosnian Serb political and military leadership. The
17 primary purpose of that plan was to spread terror among the civilian
18 population of Sarajevo through the campaign of sniping and shelling.
19 Based on the evidence relating to scheduled sniping and shelling
20 incidents, the Chamber is also satisfied that this plan involved the
21 commission of murder, terror, and unlawful attacks against civilians.
22 The accused, Ratko Mladic, Stanislav Galic, Dragomir Milosevic,
23 Momcilo Krajisnik, Nikola Koljevic, and Biljana Plavsic formed a
24 plurality of persons who acted pursuant to this common plan and shared
25 the intent for the crimes that formed part of the plan.
1 The Chamber also finds that the accused significantly contributed
2 to this plan. Being at the apex of political, military, and governmental
3 structures, the accused supported Mladic in his strategy in Sarajevo,
4 which was to intensify the campaign of sniping and shelling and solve the
5 situation in the city militarily. As the supreme commander of the VRS,
6 the accused also issued or approved military directives which concerned
7 Sarajevo and thus prolonged the siege, allowing, in turn, the campaign of
8 sniping and shelling to continue unabated. Furthermore, having de jure
9 control over the SRK and the VRS, which he was able to exercise
10 throughout the conflict, the accused was directly involved in military
11 matters in Sarajevo and issued many orders related thereto, both at the
12 strategic and at the operational level. He also promoted and rewarded
13 Mladic, Galic, Dragomir Milosevic at various times despite his knowledge
14 that they were implicated in attacks on Sarajevo civilians.
15 From the moment the Sarajevo JCE came into existence, the accused
16 was also consistently informed about SRK attacks on civilians in the
17 city, including many of the Scheduled Incidents discussed in detail in
18 the judgement. However, instead of ensuring that the targeting of
19 civilians stopped, he denied that SRK was responsible for the attacks and
20 instead accused the Bosnian Muslim side of perpetrating them. He also
21 deflected any criticism related to SRK firing practices by raising
22 unconnected issues or by emphasizing that it was necessary to act in such
23 a manner in order to defend the Bosnian Serb territory. Despite the
24 functioning system of military justice within the VRS and SRK, there was
25 not a single attempt to prosecute any SRK soldiers for opening fire on
1 civilians in Sarajevo, revealing, in turn, that the culture within the
2 SRK was one of absolute impunity. While there were times when the
3 accused made some attempts to curb the targeting of civilians in
4 Sarajevo, this happened only when he was under pressure by the
5 international community or under threat of a NATO intervention and never
6 resulted in actual punishment of any SRK soldiers. Conversely, when such
7 pressure was absent, he allowed the campaign of sniping and shelling to
8 intensify again. He also intensified the campaign when the Bosnian
9 Muslim leadership refused to agree to peace deals on his terms.
10 The Chamber is therefore convinced that the accused used this
11 campaign of sniping and shelling, causing terror among the civilian
12 population in Sarajevo, as a means of exerting pressure on the Bosnian
13 Muslim leaders and the international community in pursuit of his
14 political goals. Based on all these contributions, the Chamber finds
15 that, as was the case with Mladic, Galic, and Dragomir Milosevic, the
16 accused was so instrumental in the Sarajevo JCE that without his support,
17 the SRK attacks on civilians in the city could not have occurred.
18 The Chamber also finds that the only reasonable inference that
19 can be drawn from these acts and omissions of the accused, and from his
20 statements outlined in detail in the judgement, is that he intended
21 murder, unlawful attacks on civilians, and terror, and that he shared
22 this intent with the other Sarajevo JCE members.
23 Accordingly, in relation to the Sarajevo JCE, the accused bears
24 individual criminal responsibility pursuant to Article 7(1) of the
25 Statute, for murder, unlawful attacks on civilians, and terror as
1 violation of the laws or customs of war, and for murder as a crime
2 against humanity.
3 The Chamber now turns to the hostages component.
4 On the 26th of May, 1995, following NATO air-strikes against
5 Bosnian Serb military targets in Pale, UNPROFOR and UNMO personal in BiH
6 were detained by Bosnian Serb forces and taken to various locations
7 throughout BiH. Some of them were driven to locations of military
8 significance to the Bosnian Serbs, such as the Mount Jahorina radar
9 station, and various military barracks.
10 During their detention by Bosnian Serb forces, UN personnel
11 received threats. Some of them were told they would be harmed or even
12 killed if NATO launched further air-strikes. These threats were
13 communicated to the UN. Some were handcuffed outside locations of
14 military significance. Once it became clear that NATO would no longer be
15 conducting air-strikes, the accused ordered the release of UN personnel,
16 and by the 18th of June, all UN personnel had been released.
17 The Chamber finds that all UN personnel who were detained by
18 Bosnian Serb forces were entitled to the protections under
19 Common Article 3, including the prohibition against hostage taking. The
20 Chamber rejects the argument that the NATO air-strikes resulted in UN
21 personnel being deemed combatants and therefore not entitled to the
22 protections set out in Common Article 3. The Chamber finds that the UN
23 and its associated peacekeeping forces were not a party to the conflict
24 and, further, that the detained UN personnel took no active part in the
1 Between approximately the 26th of May and the 19th of June, 1995,
2 UNPROFOR and UNMO personnel were detained by Bosnian Serb forces and
3 threats were made against them in order to obtain a concession, namely
4 that NATO cease its air-strikes against Bosnian Serb military targets in
5 BiH. The detention of the UN personnel was intentionally carried out for
6 the purpose of obtaining this concession. The Chamber therefore finds
7 that the elements of the crime of taking hostages as a violation of the
8 laws or customs of war, under Article 3, are met.
9 The Chamber is satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that a JCE
10 existed with a common purpose of taking UN personnel hostage in order to
11 compel NATO to abstain from conducting air-strikes against Bosnian Serb
12 targets. The common purpose came to fruition following the NATO
13 air-strikes on the 25th and the 26th of May, 1995, and ended once all of
14 the UN personnel were released. The JCE involved a plurality of persons,
15 including the accused, Mladic, Krajisnik, and Manojlo Milovanovic.
16 The only reasonable inference the Chamber can draw from the
17 evidence it received with regard to the statements, acts and conduct of
18 the accused is that not only did he intend to detain the UN personnel,
19 but he also intended for threats to be issued against them during
20 detention in order to achieve the objective of stopping the NATO
21 air-strikes. In reaching that conclusion, the Chamber found that, prior
22 to the hostage-taking events, the accused warned UNPROFOR that he would
23 treat UN soldiers as enemies if NATO air-strikes were conducted, and he
24 made it clear that if NATO conducted air-strikes, UN forces would be
25 attacked or at least detained. On the 27th of May, 1995, the accused
1 approved an order to place captured UN personnel and staff of other
2 international humanitarian organisations at potential targets that may
3 come under air-strike. Once the hostages were taken, the accused also
4 publicly warned against the use of military intervention to free the
5 hostages, stating that it would end in a catastrophe and a slaughter.
6 Therefore, the Chamber rejects the accused's argument that the
7 Prosecution failed to prove his mens rea for this offence and his claim
8 that although he had agreed to the detention of UN personnel, he never
9 contemplated or agreed to threats being made against them.
10 The Chamber also finds that the accused significantly contributed
11 to the common purpose to take UN personnel hostage in order to deter NATO
12 from engaging in further air-strikes. The accused was the driving force
13 behind the hostage taking and an active participant in every aspect of
14 the events. He directly participated in the operation to take UN
15 personnel hostage as evidenced by his involvement in: Formulating and
16 implementing the hostage-taking plan; the statements he made to attack
17 and detain UN personnel; directing others to detain the UN personnel and
18 place them in locations of military significance to the VRS after the
19 NATO air-strikes; monitoring the hostage-taking operation; receiving
20 reports about the hostages; and placing conditions on the release of the
22 In relation to the hostages JCE, the accused therefore bears
23 individual criminal responsibility pursuant to Article 7(1) of the
24 Statute for the crime of taking hostages as a violation of the laws or
25 customs of war.
1 Finally, the Chamber will address the Srebrenica component of the
3 As the Chamber has already found, as early as October 1991, there
4 existed a common plan to permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian
5 Croats from Bosnian Serb-claimed territory. In early 1993, following a
6 series of Bosnian Serb attacks in nearby villages, including Cerska and
7 Konjevic Polje, the Bosnian Muslim population fled to Srebrenica, which
8 was proclaimed a safe area on the 16th of April, 1993.
9 In March 1995, the accused issued Directive 7, ordering the
10 Drina Corps to "create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with
11 no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica."
12 Following the issuance of Directive 7, restrictions on
13 humanitarian aid and UNPROFOR resupply convoys intensified, resulting in
14 disastrous conditions in the Srebrenica enclave.
15 On the 2nd of July, days after the accused's visit to Drina Corps
16 command, the Drina Corps commander, Milenko Zivanovic, issued an order
17 for active combat operations aimed at reducing the enclaves of Srebrenica
18 and Zepa to their urban areas. Bosnian Serb forces launched combat
19 operations on 6th of July, and on the 9th of July the accused was
20 informed that favourable conditions for extending the attack towards
21 Srebrenica had been created. The accused approved this and ordered the
22 take-over of Srebrenica. By the end of the day on the 11th of July, the
23 town fell to the Bosnian Serb forces. Bosnian Serb forces called upon
24 those who remained to leave their houses. Mladic turned to the
25 television cameras and said, "Finally the time has come to take revenge
1 on the Turks in this region."
2 The Bosnian Muslim population had already fled the relentless
3 shelling of the town earlier that day. The vast majority of the
4 able-bodied men formed a column and departed the enclave on foot in an
5 attempt to reach Tuzla, while the women, children, and elderly men moved
6 north to the UN compound in Potocari. As they fled, the group moving
7 towards the UN compound was shelled.
8 The humanitarian situation in Potocari was also catastrophic.
9 During the night between the 12th and the 13th of July, the Bosnian
10 Muslims who gathered in Potocari could hear the sound of gun-fire in the
11 vicinity; some observed members of the Bosnian Serb forces beating and
12 sexually assaulting Bosnian Muslims, while other Bosnian Muslims were
13 taken away by members of the Bosnian Serb forces and did not return.
14 These combined circumstances exacerbated the fear and panic permeating
15 the atmosphere in Potocari.
16 That evening and the following morning, Mladic summoned members
17 of UNPROFOR and representatives of the Bosnian Muslim population gathered
18 in Potocari to a series of three meetings at Hotel Fontana in Bratunac in
19 order to discuss their fate. During one meeting Mladic told the Bosnian
20 Muslim representative that he wished to receive "a clear position ... on
21 whether you want to survive ... stay or vanish ... the future of your
22 people is in your hands, not only in this territory."
23 However, overnight, Mladic, Zivanovic, and deputy Drina Corps
24 commander Radislav Krstic mobilised a vast quantity of buses to report to
25 Bratunac on the following day. At the third and final Hotel Fontana
1 meeting held the next morning, Mladic gave the impression that the wishes
2 of the Bosnian Muslim representatives would be respected but also implied
3 that they had no choice but to leave in order to survive. He also
4 announced that Bosnian Muslim males between the ages of 15 and 70 would
5 be subjected to a screening procedure.
6 Just prior to the meeting, Drina Corps chief of security
7 Vujadin Popovic told Bratunac Brigade chief of security Momir Nikolic
8 that the Bosnian Muslim women and children gathered in Potocari would be
9 transferred, while the military-aged men would be separated. Popovic
10 told Nikolic that "all the Balijas should be killed." The accused
11 challenges Momir Nikolic's credibility both generally and in relation to
12 this conversation specifically. However, as enunciated in detail in the
13 written judgement, the Chamber finds Momir Nikolic's testimony on this
14 point to be reliable and thus accepts his account of the conversation.
15 Between midday on the 12th of July and 8.00 p.m. on the 13th of
16 July, approximately 30.000 Bosnian Muslim women, children, and elderly
17 men were bussed from Potocari to Bosnian Muslim-held territory. Mindful
18 of Mladic's statement at the Hotel Fontana meetings, the Chamber finds
19 that the collective circumstances arising from the imposition of
20 restriction of humanitarian aid pursuant to Directive 7, the attack on
21 Srebrenica as well as the atmosphere in Potocari, created a coercive
22 environment in which the Bosnian Muslims had no other viable alternative
23 but to leave the enclave. Contrary to the accused's contention that the
24 departure of Bosnian Muslims from Potocari reflected a genuine choice on
25 the part of the population, the Chamber finds that the removal of Bosnian
1 Muslim population was forced. On the basis of the totality of evidence,
2 noting in particular the mobilisation of the massive bussing resources
3 which took place as Bosnian Serb forces consolidated control over the
4 Bosnian Muslims gathered in Potocari, the Chamber finds that, as
5 Srebrenica fell, the long-term strategy aimed at removing the Bosnian
6 Muslim population from Srebrenica began to be transformed into a concrete
7 common plan to eliminate them. This elimination operation first took the
8 form of forcible removal of the Bosnian Muslim population. The Chamber
9 has no doubt that Mladic's overtures at the Hotel Fontana meetings were
10 merely a facade intended to mask the fact that a concrete common plan was
11 already in place to forcibly remove the Bosnian Muslim women, children,
12 and elderly men from Srebrenica on the vehicles that had already been
13 mobilized. Noting the pervasive involvement in the encirclement and
14 ultimate take-over of Potocari by Bosnian Serb forces, as well as the
15 large-scale bussing operation, the Chamber is satisfied that
16 Ratko Mladic, Milenko Zivanovic, Radislav Krstic, Vujadin Popovic, and
17 Svetozar Kosoric shared the common purpose of eliminating the Bosnian
18 Muslims in Srebrenica by forcibly removing the women, children, and
19 elderly men.
20 After the first convoy departed Potocari, members of the Bosnian
21 Serb forces began to separate the Bosnian Muslim men and boys,
22 approaching the vehicles, forcing them to leave behind their families as
23 well as personal belongings such as ID cards, and taking them to the
24 building known as the white house, which was located across the road.
25 Separations continued throughout the day on the 12th and the 13th of
1 July. As the house filled and became crammed with Bosnian Muslim males,
2 buses arrived to take them to Bratunac where they were detained in
3 equally crowded conditions throughout the town.
4 Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb forces began to receive information about
5 the column of Bosnian Muslim males attempting to reach Tuzla and began to
6 take steps to intercept it by way of ambush or shelling. Following
7 vigorous attacks on and pursuit of the column, on the 13th of July,
8 between 1500 and 2.000 Bosnian Muslim males, who surrendered or were
9 captured, came to be detained by Bosnian Serb forces at the
10 Konjevic Polje intersection, the Sandici meadow, and the Nova Kasaba
11 football field. In the afternoon and evening, the detainees were removed
12 from these locations and taken either to the Kravica warehouse or on
13 trucks and buses to Bratunac town. Beginning late that afternoon and
14 continuing over night, Bosnian Serb forces killed between 755 and
15 1.016 Bosnian Muslim males at the Kravica warehouse.
16 That evening, Miroslav Deronjic, whom the accused had appointed
17 two days earlier as the civilian commissioner for the Serbian
18 municipality of Srebrenica, complained to Main Staff chief of security,
19 Ljubisa Beara, about the presence of the buses full of detainees parked
20 throughout Bratunac town which were causing concern to the Bratunac
21 population. At approximately 8.00 p.m., Deronjic spoke to the accused,
22 who asked, how many thousands? Deronjic replied that there were about
23 two for the time being but there would be more during that night. The
24 accused then told Deronjic "all the goods must be placed inside the
25 warehouses before 12.00 tomorrow ... not in the warehouses over there,
1 but somewhere else."
2 Beginning that evening, pursuant to Mladic's order, thousands of
3 Bosnian Muslim males were bussed from Bratunac to Zvornik, where they
4 were held for short periods of time at the Orahovac school, the Petkovci
5 school, the Rocevic school, the Kula school, and the Pilica cultural
6 centre. Over the following few days they were taken from their places of
7 detention to nearby locations throughout Zvornik municipality: A field
8 in Orahovac, the Petkovci dam, the banks of the Drina river near Kozluk,
9 and the Branjevo military farm. There they were shot by members of
10 Bosnian Serb forces. Even prior to the large-scale killings in Zvornik,
11 beginning on the 12th of July Bosnian Muslim male were shot by Bosnian
12 Serb forces at Potocari, Sandici meadow, Luke school near Tisca, on the
13 bank of the Jadar river, and outside the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac.
14 In the days following the conclusion of the killing operation in Zvornik,
15 members of the Bosnian Serb forces continued to kill Bosnian Muslim males
16 who came into their custody, as exemplified by the killings of Bosnian
17 Muslim males at Snagovo, Bisina and Trnovo. The evidence tendered in
18 this case has shown that at least 5.115 Bosnian Muslim males were killed
19 in connection with the Scheduled Incidents charged in the indictment.
20 However, the Chamber has been unable to establish beyond a reasonable
21 doubt that Scheduled Incident E2 took place as alleged in the indictment.
22 The Chamber is satisfied that these killings were carried out
23 pursuant to a systematic and highly organised plan. In reaching that
24 conclusion, the Chamber is mindful that Bosnian Serb forces began to
25 obtain detailed intelligence regarding the presence of Bosnian Muslim
1 males amongst the population in Potocari on the night of the 11th of
2 July and, around the same time, began to receive reports about the
3 existence and movement of the column of Bosnian Muslim men and boys
4 attempting to make their way towards Tuzla. Further, before the third
5 Hotel Fontana meeting at 10.00 a.m. on the 12th of July, Popovic told
6 Momir Nikolic that all the Balijas should be killed.
7 The Chamber is convinced that a plan to kill all the able-bodied
8 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica had been established by the
9 time the third Hotel Fontana meeting commenced. The accused contends
10 that the plan to kill the Bosnian Muslim men and boys detained by Bosnian
11 Serb forces did not exist at least until the killing incident at the
12 Kravica warehouse on the afternoon of the 13th of July. However, the
13 Chamber considers that this incident marks the beginning of the
14 large-scale implementation of the plan to kill, which already existed.
15 This insidious operation was overseen and implemented on the
16 ground by numerous VRS officers at all levels of the command hierarchy,
17 from the Main Staff to the members of the battalions of the Zvornik and
18 Bratunac Brigades. The Chamber particularly notes the ubiquitousness of
19 security officers from the Main Staff, Drina Corps, and Zvornik, namely,
20 Beara, Popovic, and Drago Nikolic, at the killing sites across Zvornik
21 between the 14th and the 17th of July, 1995.
22 The Chamber further finds that complex killing operation would
23 not have been possible without the authorisation and orders of the VRS
24 commander, Mladic. Accordingly, the Chamber finds that Ratko Mladic,
25 Ljubisa Beara, and Vujadin Popovic shared the expanded common purpose of
1 eliminating the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica by killing the men and
2 boys, and thus intended murder, extermination, and persecution through
3 the underlying act of killing.
4 Further, the Chamber notes the Bosnian Serb forces' vigorous
5 pursuit of the members of the column and their dogged commitment to
6 killing all Bosnian Muslim males taken into Bosnian Serb custody,
7 irrespective of whether they were combatants or civilians, and regardless
8 of whether they were captured or had surrendered from the column. The
9 Chamber considers that this, combined with the manner as well as the
10 systematic and highly organised nature of the killings, demonstrates a
11 clear intent to kill every able-bodied Bosnian Muslim male from
12 Srebrenica. Noting that killing every able-bodied male of the group
13 results in severe procreative that may lead to the group's extinction,
14 the Chamber finds that the only reasonable inference is that members of
15 the Bosnian Serb forces orchestrating this operation intended to destroy
16 the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as such.
17 In conclusion, mindful of the omnipresence and involvement of
18 Beara and Popovic at multiple mass killing sites in Zvornik, their
19 numerous actions in furtherance of the killing operation, and the fact
20 that the vast operation was conducted with Mladic's essential
21 involvement, the Chamber is satisfied that the members of the Srebrenica
22 JCE who agreed to the expansion of means so as to encompass the killing
23 of men and boys, i.e., Mladic, Beara, and Popovic, intended to kill all
24 the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim males which intent, in the circumstances,
25 is tantamount to the intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica
1 as such.
2 The Chamber now turns to the accused's responsibility for the
3 crimes which were found to have been committed in the Srebrenica
4 component of the case.
5 The accused acknowledges that he approved the initial plan to
6 shrink the Srebrenica enclave and thereafter to take the undefended town
7 of Srebrenica, but claims that this plan never contemplated the execution
8 of Bosnian Muslim detainees. The accused asserts that he was never
9 informed about these killings.
10 The Chamber has found that, at least by the time Directive 7 was
11 issued in March 1995, the accused and Mladic had devised a long-term plan
12 aimed at the eventual forcible removal of the Bosnian Muslims in
13 Srebrenica, and considers that the accused's establishment of Bosnian
14 Serb structures in Srebrenica to be demonstrative of the intent to
15 permanently and forcibly remove the Bosnian Muslim population. In
16 reaching this conclusion, the Chamber notes that throughout the operation
17 in Srebrenica, the accused was receiving information through various
18 channels, including contacts with high-ranking VRS officers such as
19 Milan Gvero and Zdravko Tolimir, as well as Zivanovic, on the night of
20 the 11th of July, and Mladic during afternoon of 13th of July. The
21 accused also met twice with Tomislav Kovac of the Republika Srpska MUP
22 who spent the evening of the 13th of July and the day of the 14th of
23 July in the Bratunac and Srebrenica areas. The accused also received
24 regular written reports from multiple branches of the Bosnian Serb
25 forces, including daily VRS combat reports, which revealed that the
1 Bosnian Serb forces observed relatively few able-bodied Bosnian Muslim
2 males in Potocari and described the actions taken by Bosnian Serb forces
3 in pursuit of the column.
4 As mentioned before, at approximately 8.00 p.m. on the 13th of
5 July, the accused spoke to Deronjic, who, as civilian commissioner of
6 Srebrenica, answered directly to the accused, about the fate of the
7 thousands of Bosnian Muslim male detainees then being held in Bratunac
8 town. Despite the fact that they did not explicitly mention the killing
9 of detainees during the conversation, the accused and Deronjic spoke in
10 code, referring to the detainees as goods which had to be placed inside
11 the warehouses before 12.00 the following day. Moreover, the Chamber
12 recalls that immediately after this conversation, Beara and Deronjic
13 discussed where - not whether - the detainees were to be killed. It is
14 therefore clear that by that time a decision had already been made to
15 kill the detainees, and Deronjic invoked the accused's authority to
16 convince Beara to accede to their movement to Zvornik. The Chamber finds
17 that this conversation, in addition to the accused's subsequent acts,
18 demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt the accused's agreement to the
19 expansion of the objective to encompass the killing of Bosnian Muslim
20 males. As the president of the Republika Srpska and supreme commander of
21 the VRS, the accused was the sole person within Republika Srpska with the
22 power to intervene to prevent the Bosnian Muslim males from being killed.
23 Yet, far from intervening to prevent the killing from taking place at
24 all, the accused himself ordered that the Bosnian Muslim male detainees
25 who were then being held in Bratunac be transferred elsewhere to be
1 killed. They were then taken to Zvornik and killed.
2 With full knowledge of the ongoing killing operation, the accused
3 declared a state of war in the area of Srebrenica-Skelani municipality on
4 the 14th of July. This had the practical effect of allowing the armed
5 forces deployed in the area of responsibility of the Drina Corps to
6 utilize all human and material resources without having to follow
7 complicated procedural protocols, thereby facilitating the ongoing
8 killing operation.
9 On the basis of the totality of the evidence, the Chamber finds
10 that the accused shared the expanded common purpose of killing the
11 Bosnian Muslim males of Srebrenica and that he significantly contributed
12 to it.
13 The Chamber now turns to the issue whether the accused
14 participated in the Srebrenica JCE with intent to destroy the Bosnian
15 Muslims of Srebrenica.
16 The Chamber has no doubt that the accused knew that the thousands
17 of Bosnian Muslim male detainees being held by Bosnian Serb forces in the
18 Srebrenica area constituted a very significant percentage of the Bosnian
19 Muslim males from Srebrenica. Despite his contemporaneous knowledge of
20 its progress, the accused agreed with and therefore did not intervene to
21 halt or hinder the killing aspect of the plan to eliminate between the
22 evening of the 13th of July and the 17th of July. Instead, he ordered
23 that the detainees be moved to Zvornik, where they were killed.
24 Moreover, once Pandurevic reported on the 16th of July that he had opened
25 a corridor to allow members of the column who had not yet been captured
1 or surrendered to pass through, Milenko Karisik, head of the RJB, was
2 promptly sent to investigate and the corridor was closed within a day.
3 Finally, the Chamber recalled that although the accused touted the
4 opening of the corridor when speaking to the international press, in a
5 closed session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly held weeks later he expressed
6 regret that the Bosnian Muslim males had managed to pass through Bosnian
7 Serb lines. Accordingly, the Chamber finds that the only reasonable
8 inference available on such evidence is that the accused shared with
9 Mladic, Beara, and Popovic the intent that every able-bodied Bosnian
10 Muslim male from Srebrenica be killed, which, the Chamber finds, amounts
11 to the intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as such.
12 The Chamber notes, however, that it can only conclude that the
13 accused agreed to the expanded common purpose as of the time of his
14 conversation with Deronjic at 8.00 p.m. on the 13th of July. He
15 therefore cannot be held responsible for the killings and the related
16 acts of persecution which occurred prior to that time through his
17 participation in the Srebrenica JCE. Regarding those killings which
18 occurred prior to his conversation with Deronjic on the night of
19 13th of July, the Chamber finds that the accused knew or had reason to
20 know that crimes had been committed by his subordinates in the aftermath
21 of the fall of the Srebrenica enclave, and that he failed in his duty as
22 supreme commander to take necessary and reasonable measures to punish the
23 commission of genocide, murder, extermination and killings as an
24 underlying act of persecution. He is therefore criminally responsible
25 for such failures pursuant to Article 7(3) of the Statute. However,
1 since the Chamber has already found the accused responsible for genocide
2 on the basis of his participation in the Srebrenica JCE, the Chamber will
3 not enter a conviction pursuant to Article 7(3) of the Statute in
4 relation to Count 2.
5 The Chamber now turns to sentencing. In determining the
6 appropriate sentence to be imposed on the accused, the Chamber has had
7 regard to the particular gravity of the crimes for which he is found
8 responsible and the significant contribution he made to their commission.
9 These are among the most egregious of crimes in international criminal
10 law and include extermination as a crime against humanity and genocide.
11 In mitigation, the accused presented evidence in relation to an
12 agreement he claims to have entered with Richard Holbrooke in July 1996,
13 whereby he resigned from public and party office and withdrew from public
14 life with the understanding that he would not be prosecuted at the
15 Tribunal. The Chamber considers that regardless of the reason or reasons
16 behind his decision, the accused's decision to resign from public and
17 party offices in July 1996 is a mitigating factor. The Chamber has also
18 given regard to the accused's other arguments, such as his expressions of
19 regret, his good conduct at the Tribunal's Detention Unit, and his
20 personal circumstances.
21 With respect to cumulative convictions where there were
22 overlapping killing incidents, the Chamber finds that murder as a crime
23 against humanity was subsumed under extermination, and no conviction with
24 regard to these incidents is entered under Count 5. From all remaining
25 established killing incidents, the Chamber enters a conviction for murder
1 as a crime against humanity. This does not impact the conviction for
2 murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article 3 of
3 the Statute which is not impermissibly cumulative with murder or
4 extermination as crimes against humanity.
5 The Chamber now turns to the disposition.
6 Mr. Karadzic, could you please stand.
7 For the reasons summarised during this hearing, the Chamber,
8 having heard all of the evidence presented by the Prosecution and the
9 Defence, finds you, Radovan Karadzic:
10 Not guilty of Count 1, genocide.
11 Guilty of the following counts:
12 Count 2, genocide;
13 Count 3, persecution, a crime against humanity;
14 Count 4, extermination, a crime against humanity;
15 Count 5, murder, a crime against humanity;
16 Count 6, murder, a violation of the laws or customs of war;
17 Count 7, deportation, a crime against humanity;
18 Count 8, forcible transfer as other inhumane acts, a crime
19 against humanity;
20 Count 9, terror, a violation of the laws or customs of war;
21 Count 10, unlawful attacks on civilians, a violation of the laws
22 or customs of war; and
23 Count 11, hostage taking, a violation of the laws or customs of
25 The Chamber hereby sentences you, Radovan Karadzic, to a single
1 sentence of 40 years of imprisonment.
2 Please be seated, Mr. Karadzic.
3 The accused has been in custody since the 21st of July, 2008, and
4 pursuant to Rule 101(C) of the Rules, he is entitled to credit for time
5 spent in detention thus far. Pursuant to Rule 103(C) of the Rules, the
6 accused shall remain in the custody of the Tribunal pending the
7 finalisation of arrangement for his transfer to the state where he shall
8 serve his sentence.
9 Judge Howard Morrison and Judge Melville Baird append partially
10 dissenting opinions to the judgement.
11 The Court stands adjourned.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.40 p.m.