Regardless of what verdict the UN court hands down on Wednesday in the retrial of former top Serbian security officials, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, there is an appeals process so the case could go on for another two and a half years, United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) Spokesperson, Helena Eggleston, told N1.
The former head of Serbia’s State Security Service (SDB), Stanisic, and the former head of the country’ Special Operations Unit (JSO), Simatovic, are charged with participating in a joint criminal enterprise led by the then-president Slobodan Milosevic from April 1991 to December 1995, with the goal to remove the majority of Bosniaks and Croats from parts of the territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
The IRMCT is the successor to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which initially acquitted former head of Serbia’s State Security Service (SDB), Stanisic, and former head of the country’ Special Operations Unit (JSO), Simatovic, in 2013.
The IRMCT will hand down its sentence in their retrial on Wednesday.
“The parties in the process have the right to appeal, both the defence teams or the Prosecutor's Office. According to the estimates for the cases, if there are appeals, we expect that it can last about two and a half years,” she stated.
Eggleston noted that the retrial alone lasted for about four years. About 80 witnesses were heard in the courtroom and more than 6,300 pieces of evidence were filed.
She explained that this is the last case before the IRMCT for now regarding cases inherited from the ICTY, but that the court’s branch in Tanzania continues its work on cases from the Court of Rwanda.