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: 14 January 2000; Appeal Judgment: 23 October 2001
Drago Josipović, Zoran Kupreškić, Mirjan Kupreškić, Vlatko Kupreškić, and Dragan Papić, members of the HVO in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Vladimir Šantić, the local commander of the military police and of the Jokers, stood trial for allegedly having participated in, aided and abetted, and organized attacks on Bosnian Muslims, on account of their racial or religious grounds, in Ahmići in April 1993. The prosecution accused them of crimes against humanity for persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, and charged all but Papić additionally with crimes against humanity for murder and inhumane acts and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder and cruel treatment.
In 2000, the Trial Chamber convicted Josipović, Z. Kupreškić, M. Kupreškić, V. Kupreškić, and Šantić of crimes against humanity for persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, and additionally convicted Josipović and Šantić for crimes against humanity on the grounds of murder and inhumane acts.
In 2001, the Appeals Chamber decided the defendants’ appeal and found that the Trial Chamber erred in allowing statements made by an out of court witness to be applied only in support of an in-court witness’ statement, rather than also being applied to challenge the testimony and discrepancies, which prejudiced the defendants’ cases; the Appeals Camber reversed the decisions of guilt with regards to Z. Kupreškić, M. Kupreškić, V. Kupreškić, and reduced the sentences of Josipović and Šantić. The Trial Chambers sentenced Josipović, Z. Kupreškić, M. Kupreškić, V. Kupreškić, and Šantić to 15, 10, eight, six, and 24 years’ imprisonment, respectively; the Appeals Chamber acquitted Z. Kupreškić, M. Kupreškić, and V. Kupreškić, and reduced the sentences of Josipović and Šantić to 12 and 18 years, respectively.