The convictions of Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic today are steps forward in ensuring accountability for those most responsible for the atrocity crimes committed during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. As senior officials in the State Security Service of the Republic of Serbia, Stanisic and Simatovic contributed to the commission of crimes by paramilitary forces and other armed groups in furtherance of ethnic cleansing campaigns against non-Serbs, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals' Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said Wednesday.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my Office’s gratitude to the victims and witnesses who participated in this proceeding. Their willingness to come forward and give evidence against those who wronged them is a testament to their courage and the importance of the justice process.
My Office underscores that while this is the last trial held in The Hague, there remain thousands of war crimes suspects throughout the countries of the former Yugoslavia who remain to be prosecuted. We will continue our intensive efforts to provide support and assistance to national counterparts to ensure that more justice is achieved for more victims,” Brammertz noted.
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).
The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals was established by UN Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010) to complete the remaining work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia after the completion of their respective mandates.