A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Former Bosnian Serb parliament leader sentenced to 27 years for war crimes

Former Bosnian Serb parliamentary leader Momcilo Krajisnik [ICTY backgrounder] was sentenced [press release; judgment, PDF] to 27 years' imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Wednesday for various war crimes related to his role in atrocities committed against Croats and Muslims during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. According to the official judgment summary [text], the ICTY found that
[A] joint criminal enterprise existed throughout the territories of the Bosnian-Serb Republic. There was a centrally-based core component of the group, which included Mr Krajišnik, Radovan Karadžic, and other Bosnian-Serb leaders. . . . The common objective of the joint criminal enterprise was to ethnically recompose the territories targeted by the Bosnian-Serb leadership by drastically reducing the proportion of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats through expulsion. . . . [T]he evidence shows that the criminal means of the enterprise very soon grew to include other crimes of persecution, as well as murder, and extermination. . . . [Mr. Krajisnik] deployed his political skills both locally and internationally to facilitate the implementation of the joint criminal enterprise’s common objective through the crimes envisaged by that objective. Mr Krajišnik knew about, and intended, the mass detention and expulsion of civilians. He had the power to intervene, but he was not concerned with the predicament of detained and expelled persons. Mr Krajišnik wanted the Muslim and Croat populations moved out of Bosnian-Serb territories in large numbers, and accepted that a heavy price of suffering, death, and destruction was necessary to achieve Serb domination and a viable statehood.
The ICTY found Krajisnik, who pleaded not guilty on all charges, not guilty on a charge of genocide for which prosecutors had requested a life sentence [JURIST report]. Krajisnik was initially indicted together with Biljana Plavsic [ICTY case backgrounder], the former Bosnian Serb president, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2003 after testifying against Krajisnik. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile], with whom Krajisnik worked closely, and former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] remain fugitives from prosecution by the ICTY, causing problems with Serbia's membership negotiations with the European Union [JURIST report]. UPI has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.