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.
Trial Judgment: 2 August 2001; Appeal Judgment: 19 April 2004
Radislav Krstić, Commander of the Drina Corps of the VRS, stood trial for allegedly having planned, instigated, ordered or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of the opportunistic killings of captured Bosnian Muslim men from the Srebrenica “safe area” by VRS military personnel; Krstić was the first person convicted of genocide at the ICTY, though that conviction would later be reduced to aiding and abetting genocide, and it was during this case that it was first determined that genocide occurred at Srebrenica and the first time that rape was linked with ethnic cleansing. The prosecution accused him of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, crimes against humanity for extermination, murder, persecution, deportation, and inhumane acts of forcible transfer, and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder.
In 2001, the Trial Chamber convicted Krstić of genocide; crimes against humanity for murder, persecution, deportation, and inhumane acts of forcible transfer; and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder.
In 2004, the Appeals Chamber decided Krstić’s appeals; the Appeals Chamber found that a reasonable trier of fact could not find that the evidence supported the assertion that the soldiers of the VRS Bratunac Brigade were dispatched by Krstić for the purpose of assisting in the executions of Bosnian Muslims at Branjevo Farm and the Pilica Dom, and thus it could not be determined that Krstić had direct involvement in assisting executions; however, the Appeals Chamber found that Krstić was aware of the executions, and that he permitted the Main Staff to use personnel and resources under his command to facilitate the executions, which the Appeals Chamber found established Krstić’s criminal responsibility as an aider and abettor to murder, extermination, and persecutions, rather than as a principal co-perpetrator as found by the Trial Chamber; the Appeals Chamber found that Krstić was guilty of aiding and abetting genocide, violations of the laws or customs of war for murder and aiding and abetting murder, and crimes against humanity for extermination and persecution. The Trial Chamber sentenced Krstić to 46 years’ imprisonment; the Appeals Chamber reduced Krstić’s sentence to 35 years.