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.


Stakić (IT-97-24) “Prijedor

Trial Judgment: 31 July 2003; Appeal Judgment: 22 March 2006

Milomir Stakić, the President of the Serb-controlled Prijedor Municipality Crisis Staff and head of the Municipal Council for National Defence in Prijedor, stood trial for allegedly having knowingly and willingly participated in a joint criminal enterprise and, in furtherance of the joint criminal enterprise : established and provided tasks for local crisis staffs within Prijedor Municipality in order to maintain effective defense, including having taken control over media in Prijedor and advanced a discriminatory campaign against non-Serbs; established and operated detention facilities; arrested and detained non-Serbs, principally Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats; ordered termination of the employment of the detainees; deported and forcibly transferred non-Serbs out of Prijedor Municipality; and prohibited the return of detainees to Prijedor. The prosecution accused him on the basis of individual and superior criminal responsibility for genocide and complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity for murder, extermination, persecutions, deportation, and inhumane acts, and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder.

In 2003, the Trial Chamber convicted Stakić as a co-perpetrator of crimes against humanity for extermination and persecution, committed by inter alia murder and deportations, torture, physical violence, rape, sexual assault, constant humiliation and degradation, destruction of religious buildings, and deportation on a massive scale, and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder; the trial chamber acquitted Stakić of genocide and complicity in genocide, as it was unable to prove the dolus specialis (specific intent) of the actors required to determine genocide, which is the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a group as such.

In 2006, the Appeals Chamber decided the appellant and prosecution’s appeals; the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber erred when it failed to convict him for deporting or forcibly transferring the non-Serb population of Prijedor, and committed errors in determining Stakić’s sentence. The Trial Chamber sentenced Stakić to life imprisonment, which the Appeals Chamber amended to 40 years’ imprisonment.