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: 7 May 1997; Appeal Judgment: 15 July 1999
Duško Tadić, the president of the local board of the SDS in Kozarac, stood trial for allegedly having participated with Serb forces in the attack and destruction of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croat residential areas in the Kozarac area; the imprisonment of Muslims and Croats in the Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps; the deportation of Muslims and Croats from Prijedor municipality; and the participation in killings, torture, sexual assault, and physical and psychological abuse of Muslims and Croats in and outside the camps marking this case as the first prosecution for sexual violence and rape as a crime against humanity in an international tribunal, as well as the first case to go to trial at the ICTY, and on appeal determined that the conflict in Bosnia was an international armed conflict and established the overall control test for determining if an individual’s actions were part of the war when they were performed by a paramilitary or non–State group. The prosecution accused him on the basis of individual criminal responsibility of crimes against humanity of acts of persecution, deportation, confinement, rape, murder, and inhumane acts; grave breaches for torture or inhuman treatment, willful killing, and willful causing of serious injury to body or health; and violation of the laws or customs of war for cruel treatment and murder.
In 1997, the Trial Chamber convicted Tadić of crimes against humanity for persecution and inhumane acts and violations on the laws or customs of war. In 1999, the Appeals Chamber denied Tadić’s appeal on all grounds, but allowed the prosecution’s cross-appeal and found that the Trial Chamber erred when it determined that the certain victims were not protected persons under the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, that it could not be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt on the evidence before it that Tadić had any part in the killing of five men, on the doctrine of common purpose, and in finding that discriminatory intent is required for all crimes against humanity; the Appeals Chamber convicted Tadić of an additional nine counts for which he had been acquitted, consisting of grave breaches for inhuman treatment, willful causing of serious injury, willful killing; violation of the laws or customs of war for murder; and crimes against humanity for murder. The Trial Chamber sentenced Tadić to 20 years’ imprisonment, which was amended by the Appeals Chamber which sentenced Tadić to 25 years’ imprisonment.