Stanišić & Župljanin

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Stanišić & Župljanin (IT-08-91) “Bosnia and Herzegovina”

Trial Judgment: 27 March 2013; Appeal Judgment: 30 June 2016

Mićo Stanišić, Minister of the RS Ministry of the Interior, and Stojan Župljanin, Chief of the CSB of Banja Luka and a member of the ARK Crisis Staff, stood trial for allegedly having planned, instigated, ordered, committed or in whose planning, preparation, or execution aided and abetted crimes against Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians in the ARK Municipalities, including the killing of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during attacks on villages; killings in detention facilities or during transfer in and out of detention facilities; the torture or cruel treatment of non-Serbs in detention facilities, including beatings, sexual violence, harassment, and psychological torture; the establishment of inhumane living conditions in detention camps, including inadequate accommodations, food or water, medical care, and hygienic sanitation facilities; the forcible transfer and deportation of non-Serb populations to areas under control of ABiH, Croatian, and Serbia and Montenegro; plunder of non-Serb’s property after attacks on villages; the wanton destruction of non-Serb villages, including religious and cultural centers; the imposition of discriminatory measures on non-Serbs, including the denial of freedom of movement, employment, right to judicial procedures, or equal access to public services; and the extermination of non-Serbs. The prosecution accused them of membership in a joint criminal enterprise and individual and superior criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity for persecutions, extermination, murder, torture, inhumane acts, deportation, and forcible transfer; and for violations of the laws or customs of war for murder, torture, and cruel treatment.

In 2013, the Trial Chamber convicted them both of crimes against humanity for persecution and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder and torture, and additionally convicted Župljanin for crimes against humanity for extermination. The Trial Chamber declined to enter convictions, on the basis of principles relating to cumulative convictions, for crimes against humanity for murder, torture, inhumane acts, deportation, or forcible transfer; or for violations of the laws or customs of war for cruel treatment.

In 2016, the Appeals Chamber decided one of Župljanin’s appeals, and found that the Trial Chamber erred when it found that Župljanin was present at a specific meeting of the SDS and relying on that information as a factor when determining Župljanin’s intent to contribute to the joint criminal enterprise, but did not find that the Trial Chamber erred in determining he was a participant in the joint criminal enterprise; the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber erred in law when it failed to enter convictions for crimes against humanity of murder, torture, deportation and forcible transfer under the argument that those crimes were fully covered in the crime of persecutions, however, the Appeals Chamber declined to enter new convictions on these issues. The Trial Chamber sentenced both Stanišić and Župljanin to 22 years’ imprisonment, which was upheld by the Appeals Chamber.