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

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will announce on December 15 a final verdict for Serbian State Security Service (SDB) officials Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, who in 2013 were acquitted by a trial chamber of charges of responsibility for war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The prosecution appealed against the acquittal, asking that the two SDB officials be found guilty on all counts of the indictment charging them with the persecution, murder, deportation and forcible resettlement of Croat and Muslim populations and that it be established that the crimes were committed as part of a joint criminal enterprise headed by the then Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

The trial chamber ruled that Stanisic and Simatovic sent to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina the SDB's special purpose units called the Red Berets, which together with Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan's Scorpions volunteer guard and Croatian Serb rebel forces committed crimes, but that was not enough to find them responsible for those crimes. The trial chamber also ruled that the evidence provided failed to prove their intention to participate in the joint criminal enterprise.

The ICTY has ruled that Stanisic and Simatovic, who were provisionally released pending the announcement of the final verdict, should return to the tribunal's detention unit by November 13. The two were released from custody after their acquittal in May 2013.

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