The revision of Perisic Judgment


The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia {ICTY} pronounces judgements in the first instance cases and the appeals are filed before the ICTY’s Appeals Chambers. Apart from the ICTY there is no other body that could make decisions with regard to judgements.
Two Appeals Chambers have taken different positions in defining certain legal standards.
One Appeals Chamber, including Theodor Meron, have taken their very own position with regard to a certain legal standard and applying it have acquitted Momčilo Perišić, the commander of the Army of Yugoslavia, of the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia.
In another appeals before the ICTY in the case of generals of the Army of Yugoslavia, where crimes had been committed in Kosovo, the above mentioned generals who were found guilty requested that their case be processed on the basis of the legal standard applied in the Case of Momčilo Perišić and to be acquitted. However, the other Appeals Chamber, taking a different position, concluded that the first Appeals Chamber, with Theodor Meron as its head, have made a mistake, consequently acquitting Momčilo Perišić. Additionally, this Appeals Chamber noted that the standard on the basis of which Momčilo Perišić was acquitted does not exist in international law and practice, so they have found the generals guilty of the crimes committed in Kosovo.
There is no supreme organ that would resolve the above described legal scandal that has happened at the ICTY. Some criminals are acquitted and others are found guilty just because the ICTY’s judges have different interpretations of one and the same legal standard.
This is why it is needed for the Prosecutor to use the second judgement and to try to institute the procedure that would annul the judgement passed in the Case of Momčilo Perišić though that will be very hard to achieve because Judge Meron is the President of the ICTY and it is hardly likely for him to allow the possibility of bringing about his very own fall.
Now it is all in the hands of the Prosecutor who should file a complaint and request that in the light of the recent interpretation the judgement in the Case of Momčilo Perišić be annulled.
If nothing of the sort happens, it will be recorded for the future that the ICTY once took two different positions regarding one and the same legal standard which will have catastrophic consequences for the future wars and crimes. This is a huge challenge for the civilization. The most powerful are and will be happy about Theodor Meron’s judgement in the Case of Momčilo Perišić as it will be nearly impossible to find guilty political and military leaderships for aiding and abetting crimes. If nothing happens, all future tribunals will be free to decide which of the two positions is the correct one. Whoever is the stronger, they will use the standard that is in their interest and the powerful will always use Theodor Meron’s standard.

The Letter of the Internationa Expert Team of the Institute for Research of Genocide, Canada regrdnig the revision of the Judgment in the case of the former Chief of Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia Momcilo Perisic

On behalf of the victims of the international conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina and genocide of her citizens; on behalf of Americans and Canadians and their organisations, friends of truth and justice; on behalf of the call for the necessity to return the practices of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) upon the path of justice and fairness, the Institute for the Research of Genocide, Canada would like to express its resolute support for the motion filed by your office on February 3, 2014 before the ICTY Appeals Chamber requesting that it reconsider its acquittal of the former Chief of Staff of the Yugoslav Army Momcilo Perisic for aiding and abetting crimes committed in Sarajevo and Srebrenica between 1993 and 1995. We could not agree more with the assertion in your motion that “the erroneous reversal of Mr. Perisic’s lawful convictions and 27 year sentence must be corrected to redress the grave injustice caused to the tens of thousands of men, women and children killed or injured in Sarajevo and Srebrenica and to their families.”

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