February 23, 2020

15 years later, genocide convictions for Srebrenica

This morning in The Hague, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted two Chief of Security officers from the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) of genocide, for their role in the 1995 genocide at Srebrenica where over 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men were killed. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Vujadin Popović, Chief of Security of the Drina Corps of the VRS, and Ljubiša Beara, Chief of Security of the VRS Main Staff are the second and third men to have been convicted for genocide by the ICTY, however the first genocide conviction – of Radislav Krstić in 2001 – was reduced to the charge of aiding and abetting genocide on appeal in 2004.

The genocide convictions for Popović and Beara were part of the largest trial that the ICTY has run to date. The trial, which took place from August 2006 – September 2009, involved seven defendants charged with crimes committed in Srebrenica and Žepa in 1995. The summary of today’s judgment is now online.

Meanwhile the trial of Radovan Karadžić, who is also charged with genocide, is ongoing, and pressure seems to be increasing on the ICTY’s most high profile fugitive, Ratko Mladic, after his wife was arrested earlier this week in Belgrade on charges of possessing illegal weapons.

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