Momčilo Perišić has been sentenced to 27 years in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Mr Perišić was found guilty by the tribunal of of aiding and abetting murders, inhumane acts, persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, and attacks on civilians in Sarajevo and Srebrenica. He was also found guilty by majority of failing to punish his subordinates for their crimes of murder, attacks on civilians and injuring and wounding civilians during the rocket attacks on Zagreb on 2 and 3 May 1995.
Born on 22nd May 1944 in Koštunići, Serbia, Momčilo Perišić was Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army from 1993 until 1998. He surrendered to the ICTY in 2005 after an indictment was issued against him. The indictment alleged that Perišić was complicit in the sniping and shelling of civilians in Sarajevo and that he failed to investigate the role in the Srebrenica massacre of the officers under his command.
Perišić was acquitted of charges of aiding and abetting extermination in Srebrenica, where more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred in July 1995. The judgement was thus:
“With regard to the atrocities perpetrated during the takeover of Srebrenica in July 1995, the Majority underlines that General Perišić had already been notified long before this tragedy that the VRS [Army of Republika Srpska] had a propensity to target civilians.
“Further, he was aware of the escalating tensions in the Srebrenica area and that the VRS was preparing a military attack there. The Majority is satisfied that General Perišić knew that it was highly probable that the VRS would forcibly transfer Bosnian Muslims and commit killings and other abuses with discriminatory intent once Srebrenica had fallen under VRS control. In other words, General Perišić knew of the likelihood that the VRS would perpetrate the crimes of Murder, Inhumane Acts and Persecution in Srebrenica.
“However, the Trial Chamber unanimously finds that the evidence does not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that General Perišić could reasonably have foreseen, based on his knowledge of the VRS’s prior conduct, that the VRS would engage in the radical, systematic extermination of thousands of Muslims in Srebrenica.”
The trial chamber was similarly unconvinced that the existence of a superior-subordinate relationship between General Perišić and General Mladić could be established.