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.


Đorđević (IT-05-87/1) “Kosovo

Trial Judgment: 23 February 2011; Appeal Judgment: 27 January 2014

Vlastimir Đorđević, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of the Interior and Chief of the Public Security Department responsible for all units and personnel of the Public Security Department in Serbia between January 1 and June 20, 1999, stood trial for allegedly having planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation or execution of systematic crimes against Kosovar Albanians between January and June, 1999, including the systematic shelling of towns and villages; murder of Kosovar Albanian men, women, and children; the destruction of Kosovar Albanian cultural and religious institutions; the sexual assault of Kosovar Albanian women; and the deportation and internal displacement of approximately 800,000 Kosovar Albanians from Kosovo. The prosecution accused him of participating in a joint criminal enterprise and individual and superior criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity for deportation, inhumane acts of forcible transfer, murder, and persecutions and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder.

In 2011, the Trial Chamber convicted Đorđević, on the basis of individual criminal responsibility, of all the charges against him; the Trial Chamber found that Đorđević’s participation in the joint criminal enterprise was crucial for its success and that he exercised his legal powers and exercised power over the police when they committed crimes against Kosovars and that Đorđević’s participation was instrumental in Ministry of the Interior efforts to conceal the murders of Kosovars.

In 2014, the Appeals Chamber decided Đorđević’s appeal and reversed Đorđević’s convictions on the basis of aiding and abetting the crimes committed in Kosovo, on the basis that his criminal conduct is fully reflected in a conviction based on his participation in the joint criminal enterprise; the Appeals Chamber overturned Đorđević’s conviction for deportation as there was no proof of the existence of a border between Kosovo and Montenegro at the time, a necessary component of a crime of deportation; the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber erred with regards to determinations of guilt for certain municipalities; the Appeals Chamber also granted the prosecution’s appeal and found that Đorđević was guilty of persecutions through sexual assaults. The Trial Chamber sentenced Đorđević to 27 years’ imprisonment, which was reduced to 18 years’ imprisonment by the Appeals Chamber.