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UN Court Upholds Balkan War Crime Convictions

On 19th May 2010, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) upheld the conviction of Johan Tarčulovski for overseeing the ransacking of Ljuboten in 2001.

Tarčulovski was a policeman at the time. He was accused of “ordering, planning and instigating the murder of three ethnic Albanian civilians, wanton destruction of twelve houses or other property and cruel treatment of thirteen ethnic Albanian civilians, in violation of the laws or customs of war”.

The Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber did not err in applying the laws or customs of war even if the FYROM had been acting in lawful self-defence against terrorists in an internal armed conflict.

The Appeals Chamber also upheld the acquittal of the former Interior Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ljube Boškoski, finding that he had discharged his duty to punish Tarčulovski through reporting to the relevant authorities.

On the same day the Appeals Chamber confirmed the conviction of Vojislav Šešelj for contempt. Šešelj’s had published a book containing the confidential details of protected witnesses. He chose to defend himself in his trial on 14 counts of war crimes and the judgment below catalogues the problems encountered by the Court in directing Šešelj to comply to the procedural formalities of the law. He has submitted oversized briefs and insisted on repeating points already made in an earlier trial. His trial for crimes against humanity continues.

Resources

  • Use the following URL to read the full judgement: http://www.icty.org/x/cases/boskoski_tarculovski/acjug/en/100519_summary.pdf
  • Read the full Vojislav Šešelj judgement at the following URL: http://www.icty.org/x/cases/contempt_seselj/acjug/en/100519_ajudg.pdf

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