UN tribunal sentences former Bosnian police chief to 10 years in prison

31 July 2001

The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) today sentenced a former police chief to ten years' imprisonment for crimes against humanity committed in 1992 and 1993 during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In a statement issued today in The Hague, the Tribunal said today's sentencing judgement was based upon the Trial Chamber's acceptance of Stevan Todorovic's guilty plea and the consequent conviction of the accused for persecution as a crime against humanity. The judgement sets forth details of the criminal conduct underlying the accused's conviction for the crime of persecutions, including his participation in the beating and murder of Anto Brandic, the beatings of several other individuals, and the sexual assault of six men at the police station in Bosanski Samac.

The accused has also admitted to participating in the unlawful detention, the cruel and inhumane treatment, and the deportation and forcible transfer of Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serb civilians in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, the Tribunal said.

As a component of the overall gravity of the offence, the Chamber has taken into account as aggravating factors the accused's position of superior authority as Chief of Police in Bosanski Samac, and the cruel manner in which he perpetrated several of the criminal acts underlying his conviction. In light of the above, the Trial Chamber concludes that Mr. Todorovic's crime was "particularly grave."

Mr. Todorovic had initially been charged in a joint indictment with five others for crimes allegedly committed in the municipality of Bosanski Samac between April 1992 and December 1993. In his capacity as Chief of Police, the accused was charged with 10 counts of crimes against humanity, including persecution, deportation, murder and inhumane acts, nine counts of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and eight counts of violations of the laws or customs of war.

In November 2000, two years after Mr. Todorovic's initial appearance, a joint motion was filed, notifying the Trial Chamber of an agreement between the accused and the Prosecution, pursuant to which the former police chief would plead guilty to Count 1 of the Second Amended Indictment, and the Prosecution would withdraw all other counts against him. On 13 December 2000, Mr. Todorovic entered a guilty plea on that Count, and the proceedings against him were separated from those against the other accused.

Mr. Todorovic will remain in the custody of the Tribunal pending the finalization of arrangements for his transfer to the country where his sentence will be served.

 

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