The former commander of the Serbian State Security, who has been accused of war crimes, can be released temporarily, the Hague Tribunal decided on Wednesday.
Franko Simatovic, the former commander of the Security Units of the Serbian State Security will be allowed out of custody until the beginning of his trial on April 30, after Serbia gave guarantees that he would return to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY.
The ICTY filed charges against Simatovic in 2003, indicting him for murder, persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds, deportation and inhumane acts and forcible transfer.
According to the indictment, from April 1991 until December 1995, Simatovic and Jovica Stanisic, the former Head of Serbian State Security Services, were members of a joint criminal enterprise that planned and ordered the execution and persecution of non-Serbs in the Serb-controlled regions in Croatia and Bosnia.
The persecutions were committed on the grounds of political affiliation, race or religion, and included the murder, forcible transfer and deportation of Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serb civilians.
Simatovic, who has health problems and suffers from depression, has asked for temporary release from the ICTY custody several times before, but Serbia did not want to provide the necessary guarantees.
Trial Chamber permitted Simatovic’s release as there is already a break in the trial process to allow the defence more time to prepare.
Simatovic was arrested in March in 2003 in Serbia and transferred shortly afterwards to the Hague Tribunal. His trial began in 2008.
This article is Premium Content. In order to gain access to it, please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber, or subscribe to one of our Premium Content packages.
Our Premium Service gives you access to exclusive content published on Balkan Insight, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Subscribe to Balkan Transitional Justice Premium or to Full Premium Access and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.
If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us