The Bosniak and Croat members of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic welcomed the verdicts to former top Serbian security officials, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, on Wednesday, saying they confirmed the existence of the Joint Criminal Enterprise in BiH and that Serbia's top intelligence officials were active participants in crimes during the Bosnian war of 1992-1995.
“The greatest significance of this verdict is that the existence of a comprehensive joint criminal enterprise, which has been conducted against the non-Serb population in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia since August 1991, has once again been confirmed before the institutions of international justice,” Dzaferovic commented.
“It is extremely important that this verdict clearly established that the permanent removal of the non-Serb population was a goal shared by the political leaders of Serbia, the so-called Serb Republic of BiH and the self-proclaimed autonomous regions in Croatia,” he added.
The Bosniak Presidency member added that as far as the individual responsibility of Stanisic and Simatovic is concerned, the 12-year sentence is certainly too lenient and unsatisfactory, as well as the fact that, in addition to Bosanski Samac, they were not found guilty of all the crimes in the indictment. Dzaferovic expects that this will be corrected in the appellate procedure.
Verdict against ‘Greater Serbia’
Croat Presidency member Zeljko Komsic, assessed that the verdict clearly indicates that “the intelligence leadership of the then neighbouring state had an active part in early crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.”
Komsic concluded that this is a very important verdict…
“It determined the direct responsibility of two very important leaders from Serbia, for committing a series of crimes with the aim of creating an ethnically cleansed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stanisic and Simatovic contributed to the commission of crimes by paramilitary forces and other armed groups in carrying out ethnic cleansing campaigns against the non-Serb population,” Komsic said adding that the verdict is also important politically.
“It actually talks about what the idea of any greater-state project looks like on the ground, regardless of whether it is called ‘Greater Serbia’ or ‘Serbian World’ as some people call it publically nowadays. In fact, this is a verdict for these greater-state,” Komsic concluded
The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) in The Hague ruled that former top Serbian security officials, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, are guilty of aiding and abetting the war crimes committed in Bosnia and Croatia between 1992 and 1995 and sentenced each of them to 12 years in prison.
Stanisic was the former head of Serbia's State Security Service (SDB) and Simatovic former head of the country's Special Operations Unit (JSO).