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Acquitted Yugoslavia ex-military officer sues Serbia over imprisonment

[JURIST] Former Yugoslav National Army officer Miroslav Radic [Trial Watch backgrounder] on Wednesday sued Serbia for the four years and six months he was detained during his trial by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Radic was acquitted [decision, PDF; JURIST report] of war crimes charges by the ICTY in 2007 and is seeking more than $600,000 in compensation for his imprisonment. Lawyers for Serbia argued [B92 report] that, because the ICTY is not a Serbian court, the country's Code of Criminal Procedure [text, PDF] does not provide for his compensation. Lawyers for Radic argued that he should still receive the money because of the role Serbia played in his prosecution before the ICTY. The ICTY does not compensate acquitted suspects for time they have served in prison during trial.

Radic was originally accused of "planning, instigating, ordering or otherwise aiding and abetting" war crimes in the 1991 Vukovar massacre [BBC backgrounder] in which Serb-led forces executed approximately 260 detainees. Radic was the only acquitted member of the so-called "Vukovar Three" [BBC backgrounder; ICTY materials], which included Mile Mrksic and Veselin Sljivancanin. Last year, Norway agreed to extradite [JURIST report] an unnamed Croatian citizen for his alleged involvement in the massacre. The Serbian Supreme Court in 2006 ordered a retrial for 14 convicted [JURIST reports] Serbians for their involvement in the massacre.

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