NPWJ welcomes ICTY’s historic judgment recognising JNA accountability for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina

7 Sep, 2011 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome, 7 September 2011

Yesterday, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia convicted Momčilo Perišić for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Mr Perišić was the most senior officer and Chief of the General Staff of the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) from 26 August 1993 to 24 November 1998. He was found guilty of aiding and abetting murders, inhumane acts, persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds and attacks committed by soldiers under his command on civilians in Sarajevo and Srebrenica. Mr  Perišić was sentenced to 27 years of imprisonment.

Statement by Alison Smith, Legal Counsel of No Peace Without Justice:
“No Peace Without Justice and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty applaud the conviction of Momčilo Perišić for crimes against humanity and war crimes as an important step in the healing of the former Yugoslavia and an important contribution to establishing the truth of what happened during the conflict there.

“After 18 years, this historic judgment finally recognises the responsibility of the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) for crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. This is based on the provision by the JNA of extensive logistical and personnel assistance to the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) and the Army of Serbian Krajina (SVK), the self-proclaimed Croatian Serb entity, in order to conduct their operations, which included systematic crimes against civilians, including in the cities of Sarajevo, Srebrenica and Zagreb.

“This conviction, after the arrest of the last remaining fugitives sought by the ICTY, General Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić, constitutes an important moment for international justice and for the ICTY, which was created to end impunity for warlords who believe they can rely on the obscure machinery of real-politik to evade accountability. It is a further step toward the ICTY fulfilling its core objective and sending a clear message that impunity for crimes under international law is going to its end, without any regard for nationality or the rank of perpetrators.

“The ICTY has thirty five remaining trials to hand over and continued and concerted efforts are therefore still needed to ensure full and fair trials for each of the accused. There must be proper support and funding to ICTY outreach activities in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and elsewhere, to enable victims and affected communities to follow and fully understand proceedings, in order for them to see that justice is being done. The memories of victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and of countless other acts of violence around the world demand no less.”

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3913.