Foreign institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomed the final verdict in the trial of former Serbian security officials Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, who were sentenced to 15 years in prison each before the UN tribunal for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina nd Croatia during the war of the 1990s.
“This is vital step toward holding the individuals who were responsible for the immense suffering of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to account. We hope that it can provide some sense of justice and closure to victims and their families,” the US Embassy tweeted on Wednesday, hours after the verdict was pronounced by the judges of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).
International peace envoy, High Representative Christian Schmidt, expressed hope that the ruling would help the survivors and victims’ families reach “at least some peace and closure after the horrors of the 1990s.”
“This judgment marks the end of the Mechanism's task to adjudicate the most serious international crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. However, this cannot mean the end of impunity for those who committed these crimes and have not been tried yet,” Schmidt said in a statement.
“We must ensure that the remaining war crimes cases before the domestic courts are processed efficiently. Ensuring judicial accountability is also in the interest of society at large. It is necessary to establish historical facts, which in turn will enable truth-sharing, dispelling competing narratives, and fostering reconciliation,” he added.