Perisic: where’s the ‘cut-off’ line?

06 September 2011 by Geraldine Coughlan

Former Yugoslav Army chief Momcilo Perisic stood straight, eyes downcast as he listened to Judge Bakone Moloto sentence him to 27 years in prison. Proclaiming him guilty of a long list of war crimes and crimes against humanity over his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre when around 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed. Also, over the 44-month Siege of Sarajevo which made daily life almost impossible for civilians.

The judge said that the army “regularly made no distinction between civilian and military targets. In fact, it targeted Bosnian Muslim civilians as a matter of course”.

The judgement is the first handed down by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) against an official of the former Yugoslav Army for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Perisic is the most high-ranking official of the former army to be convicted by the Tribunal. You could feel tension rise in the public gallery as one of the court’s most historic trials came to a close.

Bosnia and Croatia
The judge meticulously read out the list of crimes including aiding and abetting murder, persecution and attacks on civilians. Perisic was also found guilty of failing to punish his troops for their crimes of murder and attacks on civilians during the rocket attacks on Zagreb in 1995.

Milosevic's help
Momcilo Perisic was army chief during the rule of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

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