In the opening statement at the repeated trial to Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic-Frenki in The Hague, the prosecutors qualified accused as “key participants” in a joint criminal enterprise of violent expulsion of a non-Serb population from the territory of Croatia and BiH, with the aim of achieving Serbian domination.
The former head of the State Security service of Serbia Stanisic and his assistant Simatovic are charged with crimes committed against Croats and Bosniaks in wars in Croatia and BiH. The indictment charges them with persecution on a racial, religious and political basis, killings, deportation and forcible transfer of Croatian and Muslim civilian population.
According to the indictment, Stanisic and Simatovic participated in the joint criminal enterprise, whose main purpose was a permanent and violent removal of Croats and Muslims from the territory of Croatia and BiH, which would then be included in a unified state of Serbia.
“Milosevic was the driving force of the criminal plan, and he entrusted the implementation to Stanisic and Simatovic,” said prosecutor Douglas Stringer.
“Stanisic and Simatovic intended crimes,” stated Stringer, adding that they stood behind Serbian units that expelled tens of thousands of Croats and Bosniaks in the field through violence, murders, random detentions, robbery, rape and deportations, during the four years of war.
“The accused were deciding where, how and when will act these units that operated secretly, with the aim to hide Milosevic’s hand,” said the prosecutor.
According to the prosecutor, through Simatovic who was executing his instructions on the field, Stanisic formed, trained and armed units of local Serbs in special camps in Croatia and BiH, which participated in the operations of ethnic cleansing under their command.
Furthermore, in the opening statements prosecutors will talk about crimes committed in BiH by forces under the command of Stanisic and Simatovic.
After the first trial, the Trial Chamber of the Hague Tribunal acquitted Stanisic and Simatovic on all five counts of the indictment.
On December 15, 2015, the Appellate Chamber adopted the key basis of the appeal to that judgment that was filed by the Prosecution. They annulled acquitting verdict and ordered to repeat the whole process.