Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A former Bosnian Serb army general convicted of war crimes by the United Nations tribunal set up to judge the worst abuses committed during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s was transferred to Estonia today to serve out his 29-year jail term for terror, murder and inhumane acts.
Dragomir Miloševic, who is not related to the former Serbian leader Slobodan Miloševic, was convicted in 2007 by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of five counts of murder, inflicting terror and inhumane acts during the second half of the 1992-1995 siege of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital, when a campaign of sniping and shelling killed or injured large numbers of civilians. His initial sentence of 33 years was cut to 29 years in 2009 by an ICTY appeals chamber ruling that evidence cited in the judgment did not support a finding that Mr. Miloševic, now 69, planned and ordered the sniping incidents but that his command responsibility for failing to prevent and punish committed by his subordinates had been established beyond reasonable doubt. The chamber upheld the majority of his convictions for ordering the shelling of the civilian population.
For 15 months, from August 1994 to November 1995, Mr. Miloševic was commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps (SRK) of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) which encircled and entrapped Sarajevo during the conflict. He is the second convicted person to be transferred to Estonia. Milan Martic, a former wartime political leader of Croatian Serbs, was transferred there in 2009 to serve out his 35-year jail sentence for his role in a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
The ICTY thanked the Estonian authorities for their continued support in ensuring the enforcement of its sentences and stressed the “crucial role” that Member States play in enforcing the sentences. It has so far signed agreements on serving sentences with 17 States, and today it called for help in securing additional enforcement capacity. Since its establishment, the ICTY has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 125 have been concluded. Proceedings are currently ongoing for 34 accused.
(adapted from a UN Press Release)