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: 17 October 2003; Appeal Judgment: 28 November 2006
Blagoje Simić, President of the Serb Crisis Staff in Bosanski Šamac, Miroslav Tadić, an ex officio member of the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Šamac, and Simo Zarić, Chief of National Security in Bosanski Šamac, stood trial for allegedly having planned, instigated, ordered, committed, or otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation, or execution of crimes against Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and other non-Serbs in the municipalities of Bosanski Šamac, Odžak, and other municipalities in BiH, through persecutions including unlawful arrests, detention, and confinement; cruel and inhumane treatment in confinement; the deportation and forced transfer of non-Serbs; the excessive and wanton destruction, as well as looting, of non-Serbs property, including personal property and livestock; and the destruction of religious and educational institutions. The prosecution accused them of participation in a joint criminal enterprise and individual criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity for persecutions and deportation and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions for unlawful deportation or transfer.
In 2003, the Trial Chamber convicted Simić of crimes against humanity for deportation and persecutions on the basis of unlawful arrest and detention of non-Serbs; cruel and inhuman treatment including beatings, torture, forced labor, and confinement under inhumane conditions. The Trial Chamber convicted Tadić and Zarić of crimes against humanity for persecutions.
In 2006, the Appeals Chamber decided that the Trial Chamber erred when it failed to inform Simić that he was accused of participating in a joint criminal enterprise until the end of the prosecution’s case, and reversed the Trial Chamber’s finding that Simić participated in a joint criminal enterprise with the aim of persecution, and reversed Simić’s conviction for persecution in part, with regards to the conviction’s basis for persecution relying on torture. The Trail Chamber sentenced Simić to 17 years’ imprisonment, Tadić to eight years’ imprisonment, and Zarić to six years’ imprisonment; on Appeal, Simić’s sentence was reduced to 15 years.