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.


  • 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

In This Story: Balkans

The Balkans , also known as the Balkan Peninsula, is a geographic area in southeastern Europe. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch throughout the whole of Bulgaria from the Serbian–Bulgarian border to the Black Sea coast. The Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the northwest, the Ionian Sea in the southwest, the Aegean Sea in the south, the Turkish Straits in the east, and the Black Sea in the northeast. The term has acquired a stigmatized and pejorative meaning related to the process of Balkanization, and hence the preferred alternative term used for the region is Southeast Europe.

Entirely within the Balkan Peninsula: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia.

Mostly or partially within the Balkan Peninsula: Croatia, Greece, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey.

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  • In This Story: Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South and Southeast Europe, located within the Balkans. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina is bordered by Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast, and Croatia to the north and southwest. It is not entirely landlocked; to the south it has a narrow coast on the Adriatic Sea, which is about 20 kilometres (12 miles) long and surrounds the town of Neum.

    The inland Bosnia region has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest moderately hilly, and in the northeast predominantly flatland. The smaller southern region, Herzegovina, has a Mediterranean climate and mostly mountainous topography.

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