The former master spy of Serbia under Milosevic as well as a former head of the Red Berets, a special unit of the Serbian police, were sentenced to twelve years in prison on Wednesday June 30 by judges of the UN “Mechanism” , responsible for finalizing the last files of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic were convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in 1992 in Bosanski Samac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Present in The Hague, Munira Subasic, the president of an association supporting mothers in Srebrenica, welcomed the judgment, saying on Bosnian television that “The victims do not[eraie]never satisfied ”, but that he was « important qu[e MM. Stanisic et Simatovic] be condemned, even for the crimes committed in Bosanski Samac ”.
The judges ruled that, in this industrial town in northeastern Bosnia, the two men had provided ” practical assistance »Which allowed the forced displacement of population, the murders and the persecutions perpetrated against the Croats and the Muslims of Bosnia during the war (1992-1995). According to their decision, in March 1992, red berets had trained a group of men from Bosanski Samac. A month later, the latter went to the city and were placed under the orders of the Yugoslav army, which became, with the break-up of the federation, that of Serbia. But the defendants did not have authority over them, assure the judges, while acknowledging that Mr. Stanisic was, in May 1991, the founder of the Red Berets, of which Franko Simatovic took command.
This is the first time that leading officials in Belgrade have been convicted by the ICTY for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The three magistrates recognized the existence of a ” criminal enterprise commune ” aiming to ” forcibly and permanently expel the majority of non-Serbs »Regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina coveted by the Serbs. For the judges, this objective was shared “By some senior political, military and police leaders of Serbia in the Serbian Autonomous Regions of Krajina » and « from Bosnia and Herzegovina ».
Hearing of 80 witnesses
The judges say, however, that no evidence demonstrates the participation of the two men in the development and implementation of this state criminal policy. The prosecutor did not prove ” beyond reasonable doubt That the accused had contributed to this enterprise by training, financing, and training paramilitary units (including the “Arkan Tigers”, of grim memory, or the “Scorpions”). Finally, if the judges emphasize that “Jovica Stanisic was in frequent contact with Radovan Karadzic before and after the formation of the Republic [autoproclamée] Bosnian Serbs They believe, however, that there is no reliable evidence showing that Mr. Stanisic was able to help create the Bosnian Serb army and police.
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