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Trial Judgment: 26 February 2009; Appeal Judgment: 23 January 2014
Milan Milutinović, the President of the Republic of Serbia, Dragoljub Ojdanić, the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ, Nikola Šainović, the Deputy PM of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Nebojša Pavković, Commander of the Third Army of the VJ, Vladimir Lazarević, Commander of the Priština Corps of the VJ, and Sreten Lukić, head of the Serbian Ministry of the Interior for Kosovo and Metohija, stood trial for allegedly having planned, instigated, ordered, committed, or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of a systematic campaign of displacement of Kosovo from their homes; systematic acts of brutality and violence against Kosovo Albanians to create a climate of fear; the intimidation, assault, and murder of Kosovo Albanians; and the destruction of property owned by Kosovo Albanian, including personal identity documents and licenses, occurring between January 1 and June 20, 1999 in Kosovo. The prosecution accused them, under theories of individual and superior criminal and participation in a joint criminal enterprise, of crimes against humanity forced deportation, forcible transfer as “other inhumane acts”, murder, and persecutions; and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder.
In 2009, the Trial Chamber acquitted Milutinović of all charges; convicted Šainović, Pavković, and Lukić of all charges under theories of individual criminal responsibility and participating in a joint criminal enterprise; and convicted Ojdanić and Lazarević of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity for deportation and forcible transfer as an inhumane act under a theory of individual criminal responsibility while participating in a joint criminal enterprise.
In 2014, the Appeals Chamber decided that the indictment was inadequate with regards to the crimes of deportation and forcible transfer committed in Tušilje and failed to put the defendants on notice which caused prejudice and materially impaired the defendants’ case, and thus vacated the defendants’ convictions in relation to the incidents in Tušilje; the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber erred with regards to the defendants’ convictions with regards to the incident in Kačanik town and Turićevac, as no reasonable trier of fact could have concluded that the only reasonable inference was that VJ and Ministry of the Interior forces caused the displacement of Kosovar Albanians, when there were alternative theories put forth such as fear of NATO bombing or encouragement to flee by the KLA; and the Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber erred when it failed to consider the context of rapes as evidence of the discriminatory intent of the perpetrators. The Trial Chamber sentenced Ojdanić and Lazarević to 15 years’ imprisonment, and sentenced Šainović, Pavković, and Lukić to 22 years’ imprisonment each; the Appeals Chamber reduced Šainović’s sentence to 18 years, reduced Lukić’s sentenced to 20 years, and reduced Lazarevic’s sentence to 14 years.