Trial of former top Serbian security figures delayed by UN war crimes tribunal

Trial of former top Serbian security figures delayed by UN war crimes tribunal

The start of the war crimes trial of two former high-level officials with the Serbian secret service was today postponed by the United Nations tribunal set up to deal with worst crimes in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s because of the medical problems of one of the men.

The trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), sitting in The Hague, ordered that the trial of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović – due to start this month – be delayed, at least until a hearing on 1 April to reassess the health of Mr. Stanišić.

A report by the medical officer with the tribunal’s detention unit stated that Mr. Stanisić suffers from pouchitis, osteoporosis and has kidney stones, while he is also being treated for deep depression.

An independent psychiatrist appointed by the ICTY registry and a gastroenterologist will also assess Mr. Stanišić ahead of the 1 April hearing.

The two men are accused of having directed, organized, equipped, trained, armed and financed secret units of the Serbian state security apparatus which murdered, persecuted and deported Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serb civilians from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia between 1991 and 1995.