ICTY grapples with genocidal intent for Srebrenica
"By planned and well-thought-out combat operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa." Such were the instructions of President Radovan Karadzic in March 1995. The "purifying" intention of the directive, later known by the code name of Krivaja 95, is in no doubt. Yet it leaves open the issue of the intention to commit genocide. Legal experts at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have been scrutinizing the gap between genocide and ethnic cleansing in an attempt to legally establish the existence of genocide in Srebrenica.
Oric trial sheds new light on Srebrenica
Naser Oric was commander of the Bosnian Muslim military zone in Srebrenica in the early 1990s. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) described Oric as "a warlord, drunk with power". Soldiers from the Dutch UN battalion portrayed him as "a crook, a robber, a pimp and a murderer". He is the only Srebrenica Muslim to be tried at the ICTY. His trial, which began on 6 October 2004, has shed light on a little-known aspect of Srebrenica's history.
Dutchbat faces its responsibilities
On 13 July 1995, Rizo Mustafic, an electrician working at the UN compound in Potocari, near Srebrenica, was expelled from the camp by a Dutch officer. Not long after, he was killed. Today, members of his family, together with a former UN interpreter at the military base, Hasan Nuhanovic, are making a legal bid before a Dutch national court in The Hague to claim damages. Aware of the political and financial consequences such a precedent could have for the Dutch state, the court has examined witness testimony carefully. One 10 July, the plaintiffs announced their decision to go to trial.
Ould Dah: “A model torturer on a plate”
After lengthy proceedings and political interference from the French foreign office (see inset), a criminal court in Nîmes finally tried Mauritanian officer Ely Ould Dah in his absence on 30 June and 1 July. In this, the first French trial based on universal jurisdiction, the court sentenced him to the maximum prison term of 10 years for "torture and acts of barbarity".