međunarodni kazneni sud - ICTY - Haag.jpg
Photograph: HINA ds

Former Serbian State Security Service (SDB) officials Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic have been provisionally released from the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Hague-based tribunal said on Wednesday.

On 15 December, the Appeals Chamber ordered that Stanisic and Simatovic be tried again on all counts of the indictment and ruled that they be immediately placed in custody, thus quashing the trial chamber's decision to acquit the two intelligence officials.

Stanisic and Simatovic have been released from custody after their acquittal in May 2013.

The two were handed over by Belgrade to the UN tribunal in The Hague in 2003. They pleaded not guilty at their initial appearance before the tribunal that year.

The indictment alleges that between April 1991 and 31 December 1995, and through their participation in a joint criminal enterprise (JCE), Stanisic and Simatovic committed crimes in the Serbian Autonomous Area of Krajina and the Serbian Autonomous Area of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem in Croatia as well as in the municipalities of Bijeljina, Bosanski Samac, Doboj, Sanski Most, Trnovo, and Zvornik in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"The common criminal purpose of the JCE alleged was the forcible and permanent removal of the majority of non-Serbs, principally Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and Bosnian Croats from large areas of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The indictment alleged that the JCE involved the commission of murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war and as a crime against humanity as well as deportation, other inhumane acts (forcible transfer), and persecution (through murder, deportation, and other inhumane acts (forcible transfer)) as crimes against humanity. Stanisic and Simatovic were also charged with having planned, ordered and/or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation and/or execution of the crimes alleged in the indictment," according to the ICTY.

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