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.


Bralo (IT-95-17) “Lašva Valley”

Trial Judgment: 7 December 2005; Appeal Judgment: 2 April 2007

Miroslav Bralo, a member of the Jokers in the Lašva Valley region of BiH, stood trial for allegedly having committed and aided and abetted attacks on Muslim civilians and property during the Ahmići massacre, including the persecutions of Muslim civilians; the destruction of a mosque; the burning of Muslim residences; the forcible transfer of Muslim residents; and the torture, rape, and unlawful confinement of Muslim women. The prosecution accused him, under a theory of individual criminal responsibility, of persecutions as a crime against humanity; violations of the laws or customs of war for murder, torture, and outrages upon personal dignity including rape; and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions for torture, inhuman treatment, and unlawful confinement.

In 2005, the Trial Chamber accepted Bralo’s guilty plea for all charges in the indictment; the Trial Chamber found that while his crimes were heinous mitigating factors for sentencing included his willingness to come forward with a guilty plea without having assurances from the prosecution on sentencing, his forthcoming with details about the remains of victims, and his general demeanor after his voluntary surrender to the court.

In 2006, the Appeals Chamber decided Bralo’s appeals, and found that the Trial Chamber did no err with regards to how it weighed the mitigating factors in the case. The Trial Chamber sentenced Bralo to 20 years’ imprisonment, which was upheld by the Appeals Chamber.