Stanišić & Simatović

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.


Stanišić & Simatović (IT-03-69) (MICT case page)

Trial Judgment: 30 May 2013; Appeal Judgment: 9 December 2015; Retrial ongoing at MICT

Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović, both officers in Serbia’s State Security Service, stood trial for allegedly having trained, financed, and directed special security units that attacked villages, carried out massacres, and forcibly removed thousands of non-Serbs from parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1991 and 1995; this case marks the first retrial being heard at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT). The prosecution accused them of participating in a joint criminal enterprise, planning or ordering, and aiding and abetting the war crime of murder and the crimes against humanity of acts of persecution, murder, deportation, inhumane acts.

In 2013, the ICTY Trial Chamber acquitted the defendants of all charges, holding that, while the special units did commit the alleged crimes, it could not establish that the defendants had individual criminal liability. In 2015, the Appeals Chamber decided the prosecution’s appeal; it held that Trial Chamber erred in its understanding of the elements of liability, quashed the convictions, and ordered retrials which began at the MICT in 2017.