Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Milutinovic et al, Krajisnik, Simic

By staff reporters in The Hague (TU No 475, 3-Nov-06)
By IWPR
Milutinovic and five other Serbia military and police officials facing charges for crimes committed in Kosovo have asked that they be released from December 16, 2006, to January 15, 2007, during the court’s winter recess.



Defence teams for the indictees filed a motion with the Hague tribunal on October 30 requesting “the temporary provisional release” of their clients.



The judges haven’t ruled on this motion yet.



Milutinovic, former deputy Yugoslav prime minister Nikola Sainovic, former Yugoslav army chief of staff Dragoljub Ojdanic and police and army officers Vladimir Lazarevic, Sreten Lukic and Nebojsa Pavkovic are accused of being responsible for the slaughter and forced removal of thousands of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in 1999.



Their trial, which began in July 2006, is expected to resume on January 16.



***



The prosecution in the Momcilo Krajisnik case this week asked the appeals chamber to revise the sentence Krajisnik received on September 27, calling it “manifestly inadequate”.



Krajisnik, a former Bosnian Serb assembly speaker, was handed a 27-year sentence for his role in the extermination, murder, deportations, forcible transfer and persecution of Muslims and Croats in Bosnian Serb territories.



The trial chamber concluded that he “wanted the Muslim and Croat populations moved out of Bosnian Serb territories in large numbers, and accepted that a heavy price of suffering, death and destruction was necessary to achieve Serb domination and viable statehood”.



But in their appeal, the prosecution maintained that the 27-year sentence reflects a “disregard for the inherent gravity of [Krajisnik’s] crimes”, and asked that he receive life imprisonment instead.



Krajisnik also intends to appeal the sentence after he appoints a new defence counsel.



***



The appeals chamber will announce their decision in the case of Blagoje Simic on November 28.



Simic is appealing the 17-year sentence he received on October 17, 2003, for his role in the persecution of non-Serbs in the Bosnian municipalities of Bosanksi Samac and Odzak between 1992 and 1995.



Simic, who was president of the Serbian Democratic Party in Bosanski Samac, and his co-defendants, Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric, were convicted of acting together to aid and abet a campaign of persecutions for the common purpose of clearing the municipalities of all non-Serbs.



In April 1992, nearly 17,000 Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims lived in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, but by May 1995 only 300 remained, according to the indictment.

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