Krajišnik convicted of crimes against humanity 27 Sep 2006
Trial Chamber I of the ICTY has convicted Momčilo Krajišnik of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 27 years' imprisonment.

On 27 September 2006, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Momčilo Krajišnik, a former member of the Bosnian Serb leadership, of persecutions, extermination, murder, deportation and forced transfer of non-Serb civilians during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). He was sentenced to 27 years' imprisonment. Krajišnik, however, was acquitted of genocide, complicity in genocide and one count of murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war.

The judges dealt with Krajišnik's criminal responsibility in the context of a joint criminal enterprise (JCE). The Trial Chamber established the existence of a JCE, which included Krajišnik, Karadžić and other Bosnian-Serb leaders. The common objective was to "ethnically recompose" the territories targeted by the Bosnian-Serb leadership, 35 municipalities in BiH, by drastically reducing the proportion of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats through expulsion. Krajišnik gave the go-ahead for the expulsion programme to commence during a session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly when he called for “implementing what we have agreed upon, the ethnic division on the ground". The Trial Chamber concluded that the criminal means of the enterprise grew very quickly to include other crimes of persecution, as well as murder and extermination, to achieve the common objective.

Trial Chamber I did not find enough evidence to show that genocide formed part of the common objective of the JCE, nor that Krajišnik had the specific intent necessary for genocide. It also concluded that the evidence did not support the conclusion the he was complicit in genocide.

Krajišnik's contribution to the joint criminal enterprise was to help establish and perpetuate the Serbian Democratic Party of BiH (SDS) and the state structures that were instrumental to the commission of the crimes. He used his political skills both locally and internationally to facilitate the implementation of the JCE's common objective. He knew about, and intended, the mass detention and expulsion of non-Serb civilians. In the Trial Chamber's view, he 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".

Momčilo Krajišnik was found guilty of persecution, extermination, murder, deportation and forced transfer, all crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to 27 years' imprisonment, but is entitled credit for the period he has been in custody, 2,369 days.

Press release

Page Tools
Share |