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ICTY transfers first war crimes case to Serbia

[JURIST] The Referral Bench of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website, JURIST news archive] ruled [text, PDF] Friday that the case of former Serbian commander Vladimir Kovacevic [ICTY case backgrounder] should be transferred to Serbia [JURIST news archive] within 30 days. The decision marks the first time the ICTY has sent an indictment to Serbia pursuant to Rule 11 bis of the ICTY's Rules of Procedure and Evidence [text, PDF], though the ICTY has similarly transferred cases to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia in the past.

In April 2006, the ICTY declared Kovacevic unfit to stand trial [JURIST report] on charges of war crimes [second amended indictment] for his part in a 1991 attack [BBC report] on the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. The ICTY said Serbia will now continue to monitor Kovacevic's condition in the hopes he can someday be declared fit to stand trial in Serbia. The Hague-based tribunal is currently trying to bring all its work to completion by 2010. Read the ICTY press release here.

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