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: 29 June 2004; Appeal Judgment: 18 July 2005
Milan Babić, former president of self-declared Serbian Autonomous Region (SAO) Krajina and president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), stood trial for allegedly participating in a campaign of persecutions (on political, racial, and religious grounds) against non-Serbs; providing financial, political, and logistical support to the military takeover of territories; and making ethnically inflammatory speeches and spreading propaganda that resulted in violence against non-Serbs, among other crimes committed in the Krajina region of Croatia from August 1991 to February 1992. The prosecution accused him of committing crimes against humanity for knowingly and intentionally participating in persecutions and of violating the laws or customs of war for murder, wanton destruction of towns or villages, and willful damage to education and religious institutions.
In 2004, the ICTY Trial Chamber accepted Babić’s guilty plea for crimes against humanity related to his role in the persecution of non-Serbs on political, racial, and religious grounds and withdrew the remaining counts. The Trial Chamber sentenced Babić to 13 years’ imprisonment, finding that Babić was a regional leader who not only failed to stand against injustice, but also used his positions to amplify the consequences of the persecutions. In 2005, the ICTY Appeals Chamber affirmed the 13-year sentence, and Babić was transferred to the United Kingdom to serve his sentence. Babić died of suicide in 2006.