News 27 Mar 13

Hague Convicts Bosnian Serb Officials Stanisic and Zupljanin

The Hague Tribunal convicted former Bosnian Serb interior minister Mico Stanisic and former regional security services chief Stojan Zupljanin of war crimes and jailed them for 22 years each.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

 

 

Senior Bosnian Serb police officials Stanisic and Zupljanin were convicted by the Hague Tribunal on Wednesday of a series of war crimes against Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats during the 1990s conflict, included murders, persecution, torture and deportation.

The presiding judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia said they wanted to permanently expel Muslims and Croats from areas of Bosnia where it was planned that “a Serb state, as ethnically ‘pure’ as possible” would be established.

Bosnian Serb forces tried to implement the plan through a “widespread and systematic campaign of terror and violence”, judge Burton Hall said.

Both defendants “intended and significantly contributed to the plan to remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from the territory of the planned Serbian state,” the judge said. 

Zupljanin, who was the head of the security services centre in the town of Banja Luka during wartime, was also convicted of exterminating Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats, although Stanisic was acquitted of this charge.

The crimes for which they were convicted took place in 20 municipalities across Bosnia and Herzegovina, the verdict said.

During the Bosnian Serb military campaign, Bosniaks and Croats were detained, held in inhumane conditions, abused, tortured and killed.

During the trial, which lasted for 365 days, 199 witnesses testified and over 4,000 pieces of evidence were presented.

Stanisic surrendered to the Hague Tribunal voluntarily in March 2005, while Zupljanin was arrested in Serbia in 2008. The Tribunal has said that the time they have spent in custody will be deducted from their sentences.

The two men have the right to appeal.

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