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Prosecutor v. Milutinovic et al.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
I.C.T.Y. Case No. IT-05-87-T, Summary of Trial Chamber Judgment (Feb. 26, 2009)


Facts

A political crisis developed in Kosovo in the late 1980s through 1990s. It resulted in an armed conflict between forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and Serbia, and forces of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998. During this conflict, significant damage was done to civilian property, and significant population displacement and civilian deaths occurred. Forces of the FRY and Serbia allegedly engaged in a campaign of terror and violence against the Kosovo Albanian and Serbian population with the goal of expelling them from their homes. Thousands of Albanians fled their homes as a result of this campaign. However, many other Albanians left at this time for other reasons, such as a desire to avoid participating in the armed conflict. On March 24, 1999, forces from the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) began an aerial bombardment against FRY targets. This resulted in the withdrawal of FRY and Serbian forces from Kosovo. After the withdrawal, Milan Milutinovic (defendant), former President of the Republic of Serbia, Nikoa Sainovic (defendant), former Deputy Prime Minister of the FRY, Dragoljub Ojdanic (defendant), former Chief of Staff of the Yugoslav Army (VJ), Vladimir Lazarevic (defendant), former Commander of the VJ Pristina Corps, and Sreten Lukic (defendant), former Head of the Serbian Ministry of Interior Staff for Kosovo (MUP), were charged with five counts of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. They were indicted before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). All defendants were accused of participating, along with others, in a joint criminal enterprise to modify the ethnic balance in Kosovo in order to ensure continued control by the FRY and Serbian authorities over the province.

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Holding and Reasoning (Judge Bonomy)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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