Statement by the Prosecutor on the occasion of Stanišić and Simatović Trial Judgement

The Hague
Prosecutor Serge Brammertz
Prosecutor Serge Brammertz

The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) takes note of today’s judgment in the Stanišić and Simatović case. The OTP is satisfied that the Trial Chamber accepted that the Prosecution presented evidence proving beyond reasonable doubt Stanišić’s and Simatović’s responsibility for some crimes charged. The OTP will carefully review the written judgment, when available, with respect to the charges that the Trial Chamber did not find proven beyond reasonable doubt, and decide whether there are grounds to appeal.

Reacting to today’s verdict, Prosecutor Brammertz gave the following statement:

The convictions of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović 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, Stanišić and Simatović contributed to the commission of crimes by paramilitary forces and other armed groups in furtherance of ethnic cleansing campaigns against non-Serbs.

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.