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.


Krajišnik (IT-00-39) “Bosnia and Herzegovina

Trial Judgment: 27 September 2007; Appeal Judgment: 17 March 2009

Momčilo Krajišnik, a member of the leadership of the SDS and President of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, stood trial for allegedly having planned, instigated, ordered or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of crimes by himself and subordinates against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in municipalities in and around the Republika Srpska. The prosecution accused him, under theories of individual and superior criminal responsibility, of genocide and complicity in genocide; crimes against humanity for persecutions, extermination, murder, deportation, and inhumane acts of forced transfer; and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder.

In 2006, the Trial Chamber convicted Krajišnik of crimes against humanity for persecution, extermination, murder, deportation, and forced transfer as an inhumane act and acquitted him on all other charges.

In 2009, the Appeals Chamber rejected the prosecution’s appeal to have Krajišnik’s sentence amended to life imprisonment; the Appeals Chamber granted Krajišnik’s request for self-representation as well as allowing him to have a legal representative regarding the issue of the joint criminal enterprise, while remaining otherwise self-represented. The Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber committed a legal error in failing to make the findings necessary for certain crimes not include in the original common objective of the joint criminal enterprise, including persecution, extermination, and murder, and subsequently quashed those convictions. The Trial Chamber sentenced Krajišnik to 27 years’ imprisonment; Krajišnik’s sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Appeals Chamber.