International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)

    Week in Review: International Justice becomes reality, despite the challenges
    23.07.17
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    The week just ended began with an anniversary: International Justice Day. Despite criticism  -- both founded and unfounded – and numerous challenges still to be met, international criminal justice will go down in the history of Humanity as one of the most notable revolutions of the last century. This week’s hearings, decisions and legal challenges are testimony to this. For example, former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo appeared Wednesday before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to hear a decision on his request for conditional release from prison. The ICC Appeals Chamber judges...

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    Families of 1,658 Kosovo disappeared still searching for their loved ones
    28.06.17
    Frédéric Burnand, correspondent in Geneva

    A two-day conference this week in Geneva aims to relaunch the process of identifying 1,658 people who disappeared during the war in Kosovo (1998-1999). On the eve of the conference, families of Serb and Kosovar victims together urged local and international authorities to rise above obstacles and lack of political will. “We the mothers, fathers, spouses, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons and other relatives of the disappeared (…) will not rest until the fate of the last missing person has been clarified,” says the joint appeal signed on June 21 by Serb and Albanian families of people who...

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    Bosnia's glorification of war criminals 'unacceptable': prosecutor
    07.06.17
    AFP

    Bosnian nationalists are making "unacceptable provocations" by glorifying convicted war criminals and denying crimes from the 1992-1995 war, the UN prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia said Wednesday. Serge Brammertz urged the Security Council to address the denial of war crimes in Bosnia during a meeting on the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The prosecutor criticized a recent decision of Bosnian Serb education officials to ban textbooks that teach students about the Srebrenica genocide and the siege of Sarajevo. "These facts are taught...

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    Can satellite imagery still prove war crimes?
    31.03.17
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo editorial advisor and associate professor at Neuchâtel University

    A few years ago, satellite images were seen as a decisive technological advance that could reveal the truth about war crimes. Satellite images provided essential confirmation of atrocities in Srebrenica and Sudan. But those who violate human rights have learned from this, and are now devising counter-strategies.   When Bosnian Serb forces massacred some 8,000 Muslims in the enclave of Srebrenica in July 1995, photos gathered by US secret service satellites gave the lie to Bosnian Serb nationalist denials. The images of prisoners standing for execution and freshly dug ground at the sites of...

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    French arrest of former Kosovo PM is a “test for Europe”
    30.01.17
    Franck Petit, JusticeInfo.net

    The name of Ramush Haradinaj is again on the lips of European diplomats. This former nightclub bouncer was head of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the war with Serbia in 1998. Emerging victorious from the war, he was seen as a hero of the resistance and an ally of the international community that wanted a stable Kosovo. He was also tried and twice acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). But on January 4, 2017, he was arrested at Bâle-Mulhouse airport in France, on the basis of an arrest warrant from Serbia, which wants him extradited. Europe...

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    Serbia and Kosovo declare war of words
    18.01.17
    AFP

    A propagandist train, a rising wall and the ghosts of the late 1990s conflict: Serbia and Kosovo are engaged in a disturbing war of symbols and words, unprecedented in recent years. "Kosovo is Serbia" said a message in 20 languages on the side of a train, painted in the colours of the Serbian flag, which left Belgrade on Saturday, destined for northern Kosovo. The move was lambasted as a "deliberate provocation" by Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci, who suggested it was part of a plan to annex the Serb-populated north of his country. "Serbia counts on the assistance of Russia," said...

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    ICTY to hear closing arguments in Mladic case
    04.12.16
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    The trial of former Bosnian Serb military boss Ratko Mladic is coming to an end before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The Prosecutor’s closing arguments are due to start on Monday December 5, followed by those of the defence. Mladic, who has been on trial for more than four years, is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed between 1992 and 1995 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. “I chose Mladic,” former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic told a session of the Bosnian Serb parliament, the transcript of which is recorded...

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    Bosnia: "Compensation empowers war crimes survivors", says TRIAL
    22.11.16
    Basma Elmahdy

    Bringing justice to female survivors of wartime rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina is still a main concern in the field of international justice. “Over 20 years after the end of the conflict, wartime victims are still paying a high price for the harm they suffered”, says Adrijana Hanušić Bećirović, a senior legal adviser at Trial International organization.  Whilst a three and a half year war was ended by the Dayton peace agreement in 1995, sexual violence victims feel neglected by the lack of effective enforcement of compensation awards. Swiss NGO TRIAL International, based in Geneva since...

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    "We are very far from reconciliation" in the Western Balkans

    Here we publish a dialogue between Serbian historian Marijana Toma and  Tomasz Lachowski, journalist and legal researcher at the University of Lodz in Poland. Toma is  a former Deputy Executive Director at Humanitarian Law Center (Fond za humanitarno pravo) in Belgrade and coordinator of the Working Group for drafting the Statute of RECOM, the proposed regional truth commission for the whole former Yugoslavia. Tomasz Lachowski: Twenty-one years have passed since one of the greatest atrocities in the modern world occurred – Srebrenica massacre. It is hard to believe, but even today, more...

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    “Access and Security” for Tribunal Archives on Rwanda and ex-Yugoslavia
    18.08.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    The  UN's Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) has just published its access policy for the records it holds, some of which are classified. These records include all the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which closed at the end of 2015,  and many of the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is due to close at the end of 2017. This Access Policy “constitutes the foundation of the organization’s information security and access regime,” the MICT says in a news release on its website. Records...

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    Week in Review: Remembering Srebrenica, and the ICC versus Bashir
    18.07.16
    Ephrem Rugiririza, JusticeInfo.Net

    On July 11, the world remembered the massacre committed 21 years ago in Srebrenica, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This massacre, which the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has categorized as genocide, is the worst in Europe since the Second World War. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court remains faced with UN Security Council incoherence in the case of Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir.  People came in their thousands on Monday July 11 to pay their respects to the victims of Srebrenica.  Twenty-one years later, the grief was still enormous. Wives and...

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    “Missing Persons Are More Than A Humanitarian Issue”
    06.07.16
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP)  was marking its 20th anniversary on July 7 in The Hague, where it recently set up offices. The Commission, established in 1996 on an initiative from President Bill Clinton after the war in former Yugoslavia, has identified more than 22,000 missing persons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, allowing their friends and relatives to grieve, obtain justice and try to get reparations. Since 2003, when it sent a first mission to Iraq, the organization has gradually extended its field of action and now works on all missing persons, whether they be victims...

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    The week in review: Kenya's victory?
    11.04.16
    François Sergent, Justiceinfo.net

    The International Criminal Court’s decision to drop its trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Arap Sang marked the week in transitional justice. According to Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, this “mistrial” is due to witness intimidation and political interference. Technically this “mistrial” means the two could still be prosecuted in future for “crimes against humanity” committed in post-election violence in 2007 and 2008, if the ICC can prove that they interfered with justice to get the trial dropped. Nevertheless, this decision can only be seen as a victory for the...

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    ICTY Reflects Strengths and Weaknesses of International Justice
    05.04.16
    Pierre Hazan, JusticeInfo.net Editorial Adviser and associate professor at Neuchâtel University

    The history of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) seems a bit like fiction, with its tales of political pressure, witness intimidation, controversial judgments and the assassination of a Serb Prime Minister for collaborating with international justice. But the ICTY’s story also involves high stakes for international relations and a complex legacy for the societies of the former Yugoslavia. The ICTY has made more headlines in recent days than it had for a long time, sentencing former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic  to 40 years in jail for his role in...

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    Week in Review: Surprise ICTY Acquittal Upsets a Pattern
    04.04.16
    François Sergent, Justiceinfo.net

    The International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia’s surprise acquittal of firebrand Serb Vojislav Seselj marked the week in transitional justice, a decision that goes against previous jurisprudence of this UN court. Judges said the prosecution had not provided sufficient evidence that Seselj was responsible for the crimes with which he was charged. "Vojislav Seselj is now a free man," declared French judge Jean-Claude Antonetti after the verdict was pronounced. Vojislav Seselj, a former Serbian MP known for his inflammatory speeches, had been accused of crimes against humanity and war...

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    Seselj: firebrand believer in 'Greater Serbia'
    31.03.16
    AFP

    A Serb academic turned far-right leader, Vojislav Seselj won notoriety during the 1990s Balkan wars for his incendiary rhetoric and remained defiant over more than a decade in detention at The Hague. The stocky and ruddy-faced 61-year-old, who once served as deputy prime minister, was declared "not guilty" on Thursday in a shock ruling from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The Serbian Radical Party leader, who plans to stand in a general election next month, has nevertheless stuck to what the judges agreed was "an ardent political ambition to create a Greater Serbia". "The point of the Serbian Radical Party's existence is the idea of a Greater...

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    UN judges acquit Serb leader Seselj
    31.03.16
    AFP

    UN war crimes judges Thursday acquitted radical Serb leader Vojislav Seselj on all nine charges of committing atrocities in the 1990s Balkans wars in a surprise verdict swiftly denounced as "shameful" by Croatia The three-judge panel found by a majority that the prosecution "had failed to prove beyond all reasonable doubt" or provide sufficient evidence that Seselj was responsible for the crimes with which he was charged. "Vojislav Seselj is now a free man," declared French judge Jean-Claude Antonetti at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The acquittal...

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    UN judges to deliver verdict on defiant Serb nationalist
    29.03.16
    AFP

    UN war crimes judges will deliver another landmark verdict Thursday, this time against firebrand radical Serb leader Vojislav Seselj -- but in the absence of the defiant defendant, who has refused to return to The Hague. Exactly a week after former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in jail for genocide and nine other charges, the judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will pronounce judgement on Seselj in the same courtroom. Seselj faces nine charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It will be the first time that judges at the ICTY return an initial verdict without the accused in court -- although defendants...

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    Question of Genocide at the Heart of Karadzic Judgment
    25.03.16
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    Former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic has been found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-1995). He was sentenced to 40 years in jail, but his lawyer will appeal. This judgment handed down on March 24 is the most important in the history of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Radovan Karadzic appeared tired and defeated as he listened to the judgment being read out. The former Bosnian Serb political leader was found ten times guilty. He was convicted for genocide in...

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    Karadzic trial shows genocide hardest crime to prove
    25.03.16
    AFP

    A complex verdict against Radovan Karadzic, found guilty of genocide at Srebrenica but acquitted of the same charge in other Bosnian towns, has again shown that the "most heinous" of crimes is the hardest to prove. UN judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Thursday found the former Bosnian Serb leader guilty on 10 charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1990s Bosnian war. With his conviction and 40-year jail sentence, some 15 people have now been found guilty of genocide at the ICTY for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which almost 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed. But so far the charge of...

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