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07 June 2004 by -

The governmental commission charged with investigating the Srebrenica massacre has «uncovered 31 previously undiscovered mass graves, based on information provided by institutions in Republika Srpska (RS),» the Bosnian Serb government announced on 4 June, reports AFP. The commission, which was set up in December 2003 in response to international pressure, is expected to publish its final conclusions around mid-June.

article
15 March 2004 by -

The Special Court for war crimes in Serbia, created in 2003, opened its first trial on 9 March in Belgrade. Six Serbs born in Croatia - Miroljub Vujovic, Stanko Vujanovic, Jovica Peric, Ivan Atanasijevic, Predrag Madzarac, Milan Vojnovic - are charged with massacring at least 192 Croatian prisoners of war on 20 and 21 November 1991 in Ovcara, near Vukovar. All defendants have pleaded not guilty. If convicted, they face 20 years in prison. A seventh accused, Petkovic Spasoje, turned prosecution witness after repenting.

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19 December 2005 by -

On December 12, the War Crimes court in Belgrade found fourteen former Serb militia members guilty of the murder of approximately 260 Croat civilians at the Ovcara farm in Vukovar. The sentences range from 5 to 20 years. This ruling is considered to be the most serious sentence handed down by the Serbian War Crimes Court for crimes committed against non-Serbs. Three other people are currently standing trial before the ICTY for the same crimes in Ovcara.

article
19 March 2007 by Drago Hedl

The families of 200 people massacred at Ovcara, near Vukovar, in November 1991, were conspicuous by their absence when the trial started over again on March 12 before the Special Court for War Crimes in Belgrade. The families are demanding that the Croatian government pay their travel expenses, after having refused assistance from the Belgrade Humanitarian Law Center. At the end of the first trial in 2005, 16 defendants were sentenced to a total of 231 years in prison for what was the worst war crime committed on Croatian territory during the war in former Yugoslavia. However, on December 14, 2006, the Supreme Court of Belgrade reversed that judgment and ordered a new trial, provoking indignation from the victims.

issue
19 March 2007

The impossible math of gacaca justice

Two years after the official March 10, 2005 start date for genocide trials before gacaca (community) courts, nearly 60,000 decisions have been rendered. This impressive figure, however, represents only 7% of those being prosecuted in Rwanda. And yet, the government has announced gacaca trials will finish at the end of 2007.

A new Ovcara trial opens without the victims

The families of 200 people massacred at Ovcara, near Vukovar, in November 1991, were conspicuous by their absence when the trial started over again on March 12 before the Special Court for War Crimes in Belgrade. The families are demanding that the Croatian government pay their travel expenses, after having refused assistance from the Belgrade Humanitarian Law Center. At the end of the first trial in 2005, 16 defendants were sentenced to a total of 231 years in prison for what was the worst war crime committed on Croatian territory during the war in former Yugoslavia. However, on December 14, 2006, the Supreme Court of Belgrade reversed that judgment and ordered a new trial, provoking indignation from the victims.

Haradinaj, trial in troubled waters

When he first appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on March 9, 2005, Ramush Haradinaj was Prime Minister of Kosovo. A former nightclub bouncer, he became leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the conflict with Serbia in 1998. His subordinate Idriz Balaj was commander of the KLA "Black Eagles", a "rapid intervention special unit". And his uncle, Lahi Brahimaj, was in charge of the KLA's finances. But for the prosecution, the trial of these three men, which started in The Hague on March 5, 2007, is not about a resistance movement breaching the laws of war, but about the cruel abuse of power.

Brief news:

• Burundi: New impasse between United Nations and government

• Cambodia: Progress on the rules of procedure for the Extraordinary Chambers

• Afghanistan: A sanitized amnesty

article
11 June 2014 by Stephanie van den Berg, Belgrade (Serbia)

Prosecutors in Belgrade like to say that they have prosecuted more people than the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the past decade. In ten years, the Belgrade war crimes court convicted 56 people among 170 indictees – while the ICTY indicted 161 suspects over twenty years. Although they are low level military officials, paramilitaries and local officials no higher than the level of mayor, given the scant resources and often lack lustre political support for prosecutions, this is no mean feat.

Ovcara