Ministry of Defence withholding information on active-duty members of Army of Serbia indicted of war crimes

Ministry of Defence withholding information on active-duty members of Army of Serbia indicted of war crimes

Ministarstvo odbrane

On 18 July 2016, the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection (Commissioner) sent a request to the Government of the Republic of Serbia to ensure the execution of his decision of May 2014, which ordered the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) with information as to whether two officers of the Army of Serbia (VS) – Pavle Gavrilović and Rajko Kozlina – remained in active service after an indictment was raised against them for a war crime. The HLC believes that complying with the request of the Commissioner and ordering the MoD to communicate the information requested should be a priority for the Government, in order to make it clear that state authorities may not violate the public’s right to know the facts about past crimes and the role played by the state in these crimes, especially where people who are still in the public office have been involved in them.

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Trial for the Crime in Trnje – Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

Trial for the Crime in Trnje – Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

post_trzOnly two trial days have been held since the filing of the indictment for the war crime in the case of Trnje two years ago, while the Ministry of Defence has been refusing since the beginning of the trial to act on the final decision rendered by the Commissioner for  Information of Public Importance (Commissioner) and inform the public about the present status of the two defendants in the Serbian Army (VS). The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) emphasizes  that the delays in the beginning of the trial and the unlawful acts of the respective Ministry degrade the trials for the crimes committed during the nineteen-nineties and discourage victims who have been waiting for justice for 16 years now.

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Eleven Years Later OWCP Still Offers no Answer to Question: Who Committed the Most Massive Crime in Kosovo?

Eleven Years Later OWCP Still Offers no Answer to Question: Who Committed the Most Massive Crime in Kosovo?

post_TRZ_11In an interview given on March 5, 2015 to the daily newspaper ‘Novosti’ [*available only in Serbian], the War Crimes Prosecutor of the Republic of Serbia Vladimir Vukčević stated that Momir Stojanović, former Chief of Staff of the Military Security Department of the Priština Corps of the Yugoslav Army (VJ), does not appear as even a “possible perpetrator” of war crimes in the investigation into the crimes committed in Meje/Mejës (Kosovo) conducted by the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor (OWCP). Referring to the arrest warrants issued by Interpol for 17 individuals suspected of having committed war crimes in the Đakovica/Gjakova municipality in Kosovo, Vukčević also claimed that the OWCP does not know what evidence the warrants were based on, but that he is ready to verify the evidence obtained by EULEX.

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Reaction of the Humanitarian Law Center to Allegations made by General Ljubiša Diković in the “Teška Reč” TV Show

Reaction of  the Humanitarian Law Center to Allegations made by General Ljubiša Diković in  the “Teška Reč” TV Show

Logo FHPGeneral Ljubiša Diković appeared on the Pink TV show Teška Rečon February 2, 2015, after the “Rudnica File” had been made public, only to deny his responsibility for the war crimes committed in Kosovo and to accuse the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) of running a “smear campaign” against him personally and against the entire Army of the Republic of Serbia. General Diković claimed he had never “planned, organized, participated, or in any way instigated the commitment of war crimes.”

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The belated dismissal of Miloš Perović is insufficient

The belated dismissal of Miloš Perović is insufficient

Logo_FHPMiloš Perović, the former Head of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) Protection Unit for Participants in Criminal Proceedings, was dismissed from this position on Friday June 6th, 2014. He had been holding this position since 2008. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) holds that his dismissal, even though late, is significant for the reform of the witness protection system in cases of war crimes, but that it has to be followed by serious reforms of the Unit and the protection system.

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Suspended member of Gendarmery accused of war crimes

Suspended member of Gendarmery accused of war crimes

Logo FHPThe Commander of the Gendarmery, Milenko Božović, has suspended Vladan Krstović, a serving officer of this unit, who was indicted by the War Crimes Prosecutor (OWCP) in the Ljubenić case, at the request thereupon submitted by the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC). The HLC points out that the Serbian Army and the Ministry of Defence have declined to remove from active duty Serbian Army (SA) officer Pavle Gavrilović and serviceman Rajko Kozlina, who stand trial for the crime against civilians in the village of Trnje in March 1999.


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Persons Indicted for War Crimes in Police Uniform

Persons Indicted for War Crimes in Police Uniform

The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) demands that the Gendarmerie Commander, Milenko Božović, and Police Director, Milorad Veljović, use the option offered by the law and suspend the Gendarmerie Commander, Vladan Krstović, indicted for the war crime committed against Kosovo Albanians in Ljubenić on April 1st, 1999, until the completion of the proceedings in question.


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Officers Indicted of Crimes Against Civilians in Trnje Should Be Suspended from Serbian Army

Officers Indicted of Crimes Against Civilians in Trnje Should Be Suspended from Serbian Army

The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) demands that the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Ljubiša Diković, suspends Pavle Gavrilović and Rajko Kozlina, persons indicted for the crime in Trnje committed against Kosovo Albanians on March 25th, 1999, from the Serbian Armed Forces, until the completion of the proceedings.


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Tomislav Stojković unworthy of his role as Constitutional Court judge of the Republic of Serbia

On February 11th, 2011, the Humanitarian Law Center commenced an initiative calling for the dismissal of Tomislav Stojković, a Constitutional Court judge of the Republic of Serbia, on the grounds of his suspected involvement in the kidnapping of lawyer Teki Bokshi, a Kosovo Albanian.  In the document submitted to Boris Tadić, then acting President of Serbia, Snežana Malović, then acting Minister of Justice, Ivica Dačić, Minister of Internal Affairs and the Supreme Court of Cassation, the HLC requested that judge Stojković be removed from duty, and the extent of his criminal responsibility fully determined.


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New Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Serbia Has Tainted Past

Ample evidence – including that on which the ICTY verdict in Milutinovic et al  was founded; the statements of the survivors of the Drenica massacre, who either testified before the ICTY, or who have given statements to the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC); documents stored in the ICTY’s public database – all indicate that a number of serious and massive war crimes were committed against ethnic Albanian civilians in the then zone of responsibility of the newly appointed Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Serbia, Lt. Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic, who at the time the crimes were committed was Commander of the 37th Motorized Brigade of the Army of the FRY. During the NATO bombing, war crimes were committed by members of Yugoslav Army (VJ) forces and forces of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP). Although he was legally and professionally responsible for preventing the crimes, the commander of the 37th Motorized Brigade failed to do so. To date, no members or commanders of the units that took part in the commission of the war crimes in Cirez/Qirez, Staro Cikatovo/ Çikatovё e Vjetёr, Baks, Vrbovac/Vërboc, and Glogovac/Gllogoc, where no less than 200 civilians were killed in four weeks, have been prosecuted.


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