Trial Proceedings (Ongoing)
The trial commenced before the Mechanism on 13 June 2017 with the Prosecution’s opening statement. The Prosecution case was closed on 21 February 2019. A total of 51 witnesses were heard in court for the Prosecution. On 9 April 2019, the Trial Chamber issued an oral decision pursuant to Rule 121 of the Mechanism’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence and dismissed the motion for acquittal filed by the Defence team for Franko Simatović. The Defence case commenced on 18 June 2019 with the presentation of an opening statement by the Defence team for Jovica Stanišić.
Both Accused made their initial appearances before the Mechanism on 18 December 2015 and pleaded not guilty. On 12 October 2016, the Prosecution filed a public redacted version of its pre-trial brief (filed confidentially on 5 September 2016). On 7 November 2016, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović filed confidentially their Defence pretrial briefs. In accordance with the Trial Chamber’s decision of 2 February 2017, the Prosecution filed a revised pretrial brief on 9 March 2017, and the Accused filed their respective revised pre-trial briefs on 30 March 2017. The pre-trial conference took place on 17 May 2017.
The operational indictment was filed on 10 July 2008 before the ICTY and will remain the relevant indictment for retrial at the Mechanism.
The indictment alleges that Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović were co-perpetrators in a joint criminal enterprise (“JCE”) that came into existence no later than April 1991 and continued until at least 31 December 1995. The alleged objective of the JCE was the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of non-Serbs from large areas in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The charges include:
Four counts of crimes against humanity
- Persecutions (Count 1)
- Murder (Count 2)
- Deportation (Count 4)
- Inhumane acts (forcible transfer) (Count 5)
One count of violations of the laws or customs of war
Case Background Information
The trial before the ICTY against Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović lasted from 9 June 2009 until 31 January 2013.
On 30 May 2013, Trial Chamber I of the ICTY found, by majority, Stanišić and Simatović not responsible for committing the crimes alleged in the indictment through participation in a JCE, as the Trial Chamber found that it was not established beyond reasonable doubt that they possessed the requisite intent to further the common criminal purpose. The Trial Chamber held that it had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt that they had planned or ordered these crimes or, by majority, that they had aided and abetted these crimes. Consequently, the Trial Chamber, by majority, acquitted Stanišić and Simatović on all counts of the indictment.
Following the Prosecution’s appeal, the ICTY Appeals Chamber on 15 December 2015 granted, in part, the appeal and quashed the acquittals. The Appeals Chamber, by majority, found that the Trial Chamber erroneously failed to make findings on the existence and scope of a common criminal purpose shared by a plurality of persons prior to finding that the intent of Stanišić and Simatović was not established. In so doing, the Appeals Chamber, by majority, found that the Trial Chamber erred in law by failing to adjudicate and provide a reasoned opinion on essential elements of JCE liability.
The ICTY Appeals Chamber ordered that Stanišić and Simatović be retried on all counts of the indictment pursuant to Rule 117(C) of the ICTY Rules of Procedure and Evidence.