13 December, 2012

Zdravko Tolimir - convicted by the ICTY

The International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has, by a majority (2:1), found Zdravko Tolimir (former Assistant Commander and Chief for Intelligence and Security of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army - VRS), guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in 1995 after the fall of the enclaves of Srebrenica and ┼Żepa, Bosnia and Herzegovina - see the court's press release.  He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Full judgment of the court

Summary of the judgment

The initial indictment against Zdravko Tolimir was confirmed on 10 February 2005 and made public on 25 February 2005. The Accused was arrested on 31 May 2007 and transferred into the Tribunal’s custody on 1 June 2007. His trial started on 26 February 2010.

This was a lengthy trial.  The Chamber sat for a total of 242 trial days, producing over 19,000 transcript pages. It admitted nearly 3,500 exhibits into evidence. The Prosecution adduced the evidence of 183 witnesses; the Defence presented four witnesses.

The verdicts were:

The Chamber, by Majority, Judge Nyambe dissenting, finds you, Zdravko Tolimir, GUILTY, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute, through commission of the following crimes:

Count 1: Genocide under Article 4(3)(a) of the Statute;
Count 2: Conspiracy to Commit Genocide under Article 4(3)(b) of the Statute;
Count 3: Extermination, a crime against humanity under Article 5(b) of the Statute;
Count 5: Murder, a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article 3 of the Statute;
Count 6: Persecutions, a crime against humanity under Article 5(h) of the Statute;
Count 7: Inhumane Acts through forcible transfer, a crime against humanity under Article 5(i) of the Statute.

In relation to the following count, on the basis of the principles relating to cumulative convictions, the Majority does not enter a conviction:

Count 4: Murder, a crime against humanity under Article 5(a) of the Statute.

The Chamber finds you, Zdravko Tolimir, NOT GUILTY and thus acquits you of the following count:

Count 8: Deportation, a crime against humanity under Article 5(d) of the Statute.

The Trial Chamber underscored that the crimes that were committed “were massive in scale, severe in their intensity and devastating in their effect.”

Tolimir was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Zdravko Tolimir’s trial is one of 12 proceedings at the Tribunal dealing with a range of crimes committed by the Bosnian Serb forces against Bosnian Muslims during and after the fall of the former UN protected zones of Srebrenica and ┼Żepa in July 1995. Six of these cases have been completed.

Since its establishment the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001.  Proceedings against 130 individuals have been concluded.

Statute of the Tribunal and legal materials

Wikepdia entry on Tolimir

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