Jezik / Language:
3 July 2008

ICTY: Naser Oric acquitted of guilt

The ICTY Appeal Chamber has acquitted the former Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina commander from Srebrenica of all charges.
The Appeals Chamber acquitted Naser Oric, a former commander of Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Srebrenica, of crimes committed during the 1992-1993 in the area.

On 30 June 2006, the first instance Trail Chamber found Oric guilty of" failing to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the murder and cruel treatment of a number of Bosnian Serbs held at the Srebrenica Police Station and a building behind the Srebrenica municipal building in the period between 27 December 1992 and 20 March 1993."

It sentenced Oric to two years' imprisonment.

Both the Prosecution and the Defence appealed the judgment.

None of the Prosecution’s grounds of appeal was allowed.

The Appeals Chamber found that the Trial Chamber failed to make all of the findings necessary to convict a person for command responsibility.

The Chamber emphasised that International Tribunal has to decide solely"based on the evidence brought before it by the parties." The Appeals Chamber asked the Prosecution whether it could point to additional evidence but they failed to do so.

The Appeals Chamber, like the Trial Chamber, had no doubt that grave crimes were committed against Serbs in Srebrenica between September 1992 and March 1993, but they concluded, the "proof that crimes have occurred is not sufficient to sustain a conviction of an individual of these crimes."

Criminal proceedings require evidence establishing beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is individually responsible for a crime before a conviction can be entered, the Appeals Chamber found.

According to the indictement, between 24 September 1992 and 20 March 1993,members of the Military Police of the municipality of Srebrenica"under the control of Naser Oric" detained Serb individuals in Srebrenica. A number of detainees were "subjected to serious abuse and injury and some were beaten to death."

The Prosecution charged Naser Oric, and the first instance Chamber found him guilty, for failing to "discharge his duty as a superior to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the crimes of murder and cruel treatment."

"The Prosecution could not point to any evidence, be it additional evidence or evidence on the trial record, supporting its allegations that Naser Oric's subordinates incurred criminal responsibility and that he knew or had reason to know that they aided and abetted crimes against the detained Serbs,"concludes the Appeals Chamber.

The Hague Tribunal unveiled the indictment against Oric on March 28, 2003. He voluntarily surrendered and went to the Tribunal’s detention unit on April 11.The trial started on October 6, 2004 and ended in April 10 this year.

As stated in the opening remarks, the prosecution wanted to prove that Oric“turned from a charismatic twenty-five-year-old Srebrenica commander into a master of war who was drunken on power.”

They also said they would prove that Oric planned the expulsion of Serbs from the territory of Srebrenica. The Trial chamber did not accept this.

Naser Oric, who is the only member of the Bosnian Army from Srebrenica who is charged by the Tribunal, was present in The Hague during the announcement.
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