Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ICTY Convicts Serbian Police Official for Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has convicted Vlastimir Dordevic, a former senior Serbian police official, for crimes against humanity and for war crimes carried out in Kosovo.  He was sentenced him to 27 years imprisonment after being found guilty of participating in a “joint criminal exercise in 1999, whose aim was to change the ethnic balance of Kosovo to ensure Serbian dominance in the territory.”

Mr. Ðordevic was found to be responsible for the murder of “not less than 724 Kosovo Albanians” who were murdered by Serbian forces, in most cases police, in several municipalities.  “In the large majority of cases the victims, including many women and children, were civilians, who were unarmed and not in any way participating in any form of armed conflict,” the court found.

Among the incidents of murder for which Mr. Ðordevic bears responsibility, according to the Tribunal, was the shooting and subsequent torching of 114 men and boys from a village near Orahovac/Rahovec who were killed by the police on 26 March 1999.  He was also found responsible for the deportation of at least 200,000 of the estimated 800,000 Kosovo Albanians that left Kosovo between 24 March and 20 June 1999. 

Mr. Ðordevic is the eighth former senior Serbian official to be tried by the ICTY and the sixth to be convicted. Since its establishment, the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 125 have been concluded, while proceedings are currently ongoing for 34 accused.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

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