Belgrade before the ICTY again


On March 10, 2008, almost two years to the day after former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic died, the trial of Jovica Stanisic and Franko "Frenki" Simatovic is expected to start before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). But this trial, which could help establish the link between Belgrade and the Bosnian Serbs who perpetrated the Srebrenica massacre, is likely to be something of a sideshow. 

At the time, Stanisic was head of the Serbian State Security Service and Simatovic commanded a Special Operations Unit within the Intelligence Administration. Both Serbs were allegedly operating under the authority of Belgrade, Stanisic more openly than Simatovic. Their indictment covers a long period from April 1991 to December 1995. It thus includes violent acts committed at the start of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, as well as the fall of the Srebrenica enclave in July 1995. The two men are accused of having been part of a criminal enterprise which included, among others, Milosevic, Serb paramilitary leader Vojislav Seselj (currently on trial at The Hague), former Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic (serving an 11- year prison sentence) and her predecessor Radovan Karadzic (still at large). The two defendants are held responsible for the establishment and running of illegal armed units like the Red Berets, Arkan's Tigers and the Scorpions. These paramilitary units were mentioned countless times in the many trials before the ICTY.

Want to read more?

If you subscribe to a free membership, you can read this article and explore our full archive, dating back to 1997.

Subscribe now

Related articles

21 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

Being the ICC's Chief Prosecutor is a delicate and politically sensitivejob.ForLuisMorenoOcampo it has been "the best job in the world." Fatou Bensouda will be taking over his office in June. She inhe

07 December 2011 by Thijs Bouwknegt

December 7, 2011 Ivory Coast is the latest playgroundoftheInternationalCriminal Court. This week the courtroom in The Hague became its theatre of justice. Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo proudly p

07 December 2011 by Richard Walker

Four Congolese witnesses testifying at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, find themselves caught in a legal wrangle, which could at once set a legal precedent and make them the last

07 December 2011 by Lindy Janssen

Brazil is booming. The economy is expanding and the country is getting ready to host the Football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. But the Latin American giant has not even begun dealing wi

07 December 2011 by Radosa Milutinovic

The primary purpose of the retrial of Ramush Haradinaj, as proclaimed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its appeal judgement in July, should have been to hear testimonies of two "key" witnesses who proved unwilling to testify in the original trial in 2007. Almost four months into the retrial which started in mid-August, its stated aim has not yet been achieved.