UN tribunal sentences Bosnian Serb general to 20 years jail over role

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found General Stanislav Galic guilty of one charge of violating the laws or customs by war by spreading terror among a civilian population, and four charges of crimes against humanity, for murder and inhumane acts other than murder. Two other charges were dismissed.In a majority judgement, the tribunal’s Judge Alphonsus Martinus Maria Orie of the Netherlands and Judge Amin El Mahdi of Egypt found that General Galic commanded a branch of the Army of Republika Srpska (SRK), the military wing of a self-proclaimed area within Bosnia-Herzegovina, between September 1992 and August 1994. That branch “had virtually encircled Sarajevo” by September 1992, the tribunal said.The judges agreed with prosecutors that General Galic was “criminally responsible” for many of the sniping and shelling attacks that occurred in Sarajevo over the next two years.”These attacks were mostly carried out in daylight. They were not in response to any military threat. The attackers could for the most part easily tell that their victims were engaged in everyday civilian activities,” Judge Orie and Judge El Mahdi stated.Those attacks included the notorious attack on a Sarajevo marketplace in February 1994, when a mortar shell exploded, killing 60 people and injuring more than 100 others.”The Trial Chamber has no doubt that the Accused was well aware of the unlawful activities of his troops,” the judges said.In a separate opinion, Judge Rafael Nieto-Navia of Colombia dissented in part with the majority judgement.Judge Nieto-Navia found that the offence of inflicting terror on a civilian population does not fall within the jurisdiction of the tribunal’s trial chamber. He also found that there were reasonable doubts over some of the shelling and sniping incidents.But the judge did find that the SRK deliberately or recklessly fired on civilians in Sarajevo, and that General Galic knew or had reason to know of this. He said that given this, he would have sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment.

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