MICT ruling for ex-Serb security officers Stanisic and Simatovic due in H1 2021

NEWS 09.10.2020 09:34
Source: MICT

The Hague branch of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) on Thursday concluded hearing witness testimony in the trial of Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, and a ruling in this case of the former Yugoslav and Serbian security officers can be expected in H1 2021.

The trial judgement is expected to be delivered by MICT in the first half of 2021, according to a press release on the website of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT).

“The final five Defence witnesses were heard from 1 September to 8 October 2020 in a modified courtroom with enhanced safety measures.”

The presiding judge of this Trial Chamber, Judge Burton Hall, announced that final requests for the admissions of documentary evidence would be due on 2 November 2020, final trial briefs would be due on 26 February 2021, and closing arguments will be heard in the last week of March 2021.

This is the first retrial held before the Mechanism.

“Stanisic, formerly Deputy Chief and Chief of the State Security Service (DB) of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, and Simatovic, formerly employed in the Second Administration of the Serbian DB, were charged before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with having directed, organised, equipped, trained, armed, and financed special units of the DB and other Serb forces, which were involved in the commission of murder, persecution, deportation, and forcible transfer of non-Serb civilians from large areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1991 and 1995.”

“On 30 May 2013, an ICTY Trial Chamber found that Stanisic and Simatovic could not be held criminally responsible for these crimes and acquitted both accused of all charges.

“Following the appeals proceedings, on 15 December 2015, the ICTY Appeals Chamber quashed the ICTY Trial Chamber’s decision and ordered a retrial and the immediate detention of the accused,” the Mechanism recalls.

The retrial commenced before the Mechanism on 13 June 2017 with the Prosecution’s opening statement. A total of 51 witnesses were heard in court for the Prosecution. The Defence case commenced on 18 June 2019, and 29 witnesses were heard in court for both accused.