Iva Vukusic about conviction Stanisic en Simatovic

Gebouw van het Joegoslaviëtribunaal in Den Haag. Bron: Wikimedia/ICTY
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Source: Wikimedia/ICTY

Historian Iva Vukusic spoke in the international media about the judgement on Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic, two former Serbian officials, for their role in former Yugoslavia.

First time Serbian officials have been convicted

Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic were first indicted in 2003 for allegedly arming and commanding paramilitary groups responsible for war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia. “The tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has never, in its almost 30-year history, convicted any Serbian official for crimes in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many scholars agree that that does not reflect the reality of the conflict,” says Iva Vukušić in The Guardian. “It shows just how hard it is to indict, and convict, for crimes committed by allegedly independent actors across a border where no clear chains of command exist.”

Behind closed doors

“People have already decided what they believe,” Vukušić said, but added that it would help inform historians if the mass of secret evidence submitted in the two trials was made available. “This is the longest legal saga in The Hague, to my knowledge at any court. It was also conducted, to a large extent, behind closed doors, presumably Serbia provided documents but on the condition they are not made public,” she said. “Now the question remains will these records ever be public?”

In the media

Article in Associated Press

Article in Reuters

Article in Balkan Insight