Genocide in Bosnia

Bosnian Genocide, 1992-1995

Evidence: Serbian President Linked to Bosnian Genocide

Evidence shows former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic  linked to the Bosnian Genocide.

Office of the Prosecution:

Florence Hartmann for the Office of the Prosecutor made the following statement:

Following the publication of press articles stating that there is no evidence linking Milosevic to the genocide committed in Srebrenica, I wish to recall first and foremost that this is a matter under consideration in an ongoing trial and it should be left to the judges’ determination rather than being the object of speculation. Although no final conclusion can be drawn before the completion of the trial, and before the Defense has completed its case, substantial evidence linking Milosevic to the worst atrocities committed in Bosnia has been submitted during the trial, and the Trial Chamber has apparently found that evidence sufficient at this stage to warrant the continuation of the trial on 66 counts in the indictment against Milosevic, including the charge of genocide (as indicated in the June 16, 2004 Decision on the Motion for Judgment of Acquittal pursuant to Article 98 bis of the ICTY Rules of Procedure and Evidence). However, once again, let me stress that this is a preliminary finding by the Trial Chamber, subject to the presumption of innocence of the accused and rendered before the presentation of the Defence case. The charge of genocide, as the rest of the charges against Milosevic, is being considered in the ongoing trial, and should be left to the Judges’ determination.

At this stage, and as a preliminary disposition, the Trial Chamber holds in the above mentioned document on page 134 – paragraph 323, that there is sufficient evidence that

(1) there existed a joint criminal enterprise, which included members of the Bosnian Serb leadership, the aim and intention of which was to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group, and that its participants committed genocide in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi;

(2) the Accused was a participant in that joint criminal enterprise, Judge Kwon dissenting ;

(3) the Accused was a participant in a joint criminal enterprise, which included members of the Bosnian Serb leadership, to commit other crimes than genocide and it was reasonably foreseeable to him that, as a consequence of the commission of those crimes, genocide of a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group would be committed by other participants in the joint criminal enterprise, and it was committed;

(4) the Accused aided and abetted or was complicit in the commission of the crime of genocide in that he had knowledge of the joint criminal enterprise, and that he gave its participants substantial assistance, being aware that its aim and intention was the destruction of a part of the Bosnian Muslims as group;

(5) the Accused was a superior to certain persons whom he knew or had reason to know were about to commit or had committed genocide of a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group, and he failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the commission of genocide, or punish the perpetrators thereof.

The Chamber’s dispositions are detailed in the 142 pages document. I would encourage the public to consult the document through our website and I would underline the findings related to genocide, noting once again that they are preliminary and rendered pursuant Rule 98 bis by the Trial Chamber, before the presentation of the Defence case.

Page 91 – Finding

246. On the basis of the inference that may be drawn from this evidence, a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that there existed a joint criminal enterprise, which included members of the Bosnian Serb leadership, whose aim and intention was to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslim population, and that genocide was in fact committed in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi. The genocidal intent of the Bosnian Serb leadership can be inferred from all the evidence, including the evidence set out in paragraphs 238 -245. The scale and pattern of the attacks, their intensity, the substantial number of Muslims killed in the seven municipalities, the detention of Muslims, their brutal treatment in detention centres and elsewhere, and the targeting of persons essential to the survival of the Muslims as a group are all factors that point to genocide.

P.103-104 – Finding

288. On the basis of the inference that may be drawn from the evidence, including evidence referred to in paragraphs 250-287 and 304-308, a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused was a participant in the joint criminal enterprise, found by the Trial Chamber in paragraph 246 to include the Bosnian Serb leadership, and that he shared with its participants the aim and intention to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group, Judge Kwon dissenting.

On the basis of the evidence as to –

(1) the overall leadership position of the Accused among the Serbian people, including the Bosnian Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

(2) the Accused’s advocacy of and support for the concept of a Greater Serbia;

(3) the logistical and financial support from Serbia to the Bosnian Serbs, which it is reasonable to infer was provided with the knowledge and support of the Accused ; the logistical support is illustrated by the close relationship of VJ personnel with the VRS;

(4) the nature of the Accused’s relationship and involvement with the Bosnian Serb political and military leadership, as evidenced by the request of Karadzic that the Accused keep in touch with him and that it was very important for Karadzic to have his assessment ;

(5) the authority and influence of the Accused over the Bosnian Serb leadership;

(6) the intimate knowledge that the Accused had “about everything that was being done “; his insistence that he be informed “about everything that was going to the front line”; and

(7) the crimes committed, the scale and pattern of the attacks on the four territories, their intensity, the substantial number of Muslims killed, the brutal treatment of Muslims in detention centres and elsewhere, and the targeting of persons essential to the survival of the Muslims as a group, a Trial Chamber could infer that he not only knew of the genocidal plan of the joint criminal enterprise, but also that he shared with its members the intent to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group in that part of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina which it was planned to include in the Serbian state.

Answer to the First Question

(The question being: Is there evidence upon which a Trial Chamber could be satisfied that the Accused was a participant in the joint criminal enterprise and that he shared the required intent of its participants?)

The Trial Chamber concludes that there is sufficient evidence that genocide was committed in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi and, Judge Kwon dissenting, that there is sufficient evidence that the Accused was a participant in a joint criminal enterprise, which included the Bosnian Serb leadership, the aim and intention of which was to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group.

Page 106. Finding and Answer to the Second Question

(The question being: Is there evidence upon which a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused was a participant in a joint criminal enterprise to commit a particular crime and it was reasonably foreseeable to him that, as a consequence of the commission of that crime, a different crime, namely genocide, in whole or in part, of the Bosnian Muslims as a group, would be committed by other participants in the joint criminal enterprise, and it was committed?)

292. On the basis of the inference that may be drawn from the evidence set out in relation to the First Question, a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused was a participant in a joint criminal enterprise to commit other crimes than genocide and it was reasonably foreseeable to him that, as a consequence of the commission of those crimes, genocide of a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group would be committed by other participants in the joint criminal enterprise, and it was committed.

Although this basis of liability is alternative to the liability of the Accused as a perpetrator sharing the intent of the other members of the joint criminal enterprise (First Question), the Trial Chamber will not make a final determination as to the one or the other basis at this stage, that is, whether to acquit the Accused at this stage of one or the other basis of liability. The reason is that a determination as to the Accused’s liability depends to a certain extent on issues of fact and the weight to be attached to certain items of evidence, which calls for an assessment of the credibility and reliability of that evidence. These issues do not arise for determination until the judgment phase.

Page 107. Finding and Answer to Third and Fourth Questions

(The questions being: Is there evidence upon which a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused aided and abetted in the commission of the crime of genocide in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi?

Is there evidence upon which a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused was complicit in the commission of the crime of genocide in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi? )

On the basis of the evidence set out above in relation to the First Question, a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused aided and abetted or was complicit in the commission of the crime of genocide in that he had knowledge of the joint criminal enterprise, and that he gave its participants substantial assistance, being aware that its aim and intention was the destruction of a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group.

Although complicity and aiding and abetting are possible alternatives to the liability of the Accused as a principal, the Trial Chamber will not, for the reason stated in paragraph 293 in relation to the third category of joint criminal enterprise, make a determination at this stage as to the one or the other.

Page 111. Finding and Answer to Fifth Question

(The question being: Is there evidence upon which a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused knew or had reason to know that persons subordinate to him were about to commit or had committed genocide, in whole or in part, of the Bosnian Muslims as a group in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi, and he failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the commission of genocide or punish the perpetrators thereof?)

309. On the basis of this evidence as well as other evidence, a Trial Chamber could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused was a superior to certain persons whom he knew or had reason to know were about to commit or had committed genocide of a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi, and he failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the commission of genocide, or punish the perpetrators thereof.

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