This case summary is part of a collection of summaries describing the cases before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). See the Online Resource Hub pages on the ICTY and International Criminal Law, and the table of ICTY case summaries for additional information.


Vasiljević (IT-98-32) “Višegrad

Trial Judgment: 29 November 2002; Appeal Judgment: 25 February 2004

Mitar Vasiljević, a member of the White Eagles in Višegrad, stood trial for allegedly having committed, planned, or otherwise aided and abetted the planning execution of crimes against Bosniak civilians, including persecution, murder, and extermination of a significant number of Bosnian Muslim civilians, including women, children and the elderly. The prosecution accused Vasiljević with individual criminal responsibility of crimes against humanity for extermination, persecution, murder, and inhumane acts, and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder and violence to life and person.

In 2002, the Trial Chamber convicted Vasiljević as a co-perpetrator to a joint criminal enterprise of persecution as a crime against humanity and murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war. In 2004, the Appeals Chamber decided Vasiljević’s appeals, and found that the Trial Chamber erred when determined that Vasiljević was a member and had the intent of a joint criminal enterprise, as there was no evidence that Vasiljević had the intent to kill the seven Muslim men that formed the basis for his convictions; the Appeals Chamber set aside Vasiljević’s convictions by the Trial Chamber and convicted him as an aider and abettor to persecutions as a crime against humanity and murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war. The Trial Chamber sentenced Vasiljević to 20 years’ imprisonment, which was amended to 15 years’ imprisonment by the Appeals Chamber.