The War-Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milošević
The Hague, 2002 - 2006
and other ex-Yugoslavia war-crimes trials
Milošević Trial Public Archive
The Death of Slobodan Milošević Some observations.
The Trial of General Ratko Mladic
SENSE – TRIBUNAL is a project of SENSE News Agency based at the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. The focus of this project is regular, balanced and comprehensive coverage of the work of the ICTY, and the activities of ICJ (International Court of Justice) and ICC (International Criminal Court). The project maintains a searchable record of cases that came under the Tribunal's jurisdiction.
See also the following coverage from the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR):
Tribunal Update on issues and events at the War Crimes Tribunal (Searchable index)
See also daily trial reports by the Coalition for International Justice, 2002-2006
Transcripts of trials (Register, sign in, and search by name of defendant)
See also the archives of the International Justice Watch Discussion List: A forum of news and opinions on the international war crimes tribunals for ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as the conflicts that gave rise to the tribunals, the International Criminal Court, and international humanitarian law (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes).
Milosevic's old allies celebrate his "innocence" Disputed claims that the Hague Tribunal said that Milosevic was innocent are being trumpeted by Serbian ministers and other propagandists trying to whitewash the country's wartime past.
Indictments of Milošević by the UN War Crimes Tribunal:
Kosovo: Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes, as amended October 16, 2001
Croatia: Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes, October 8, 2001
Bosnia: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, and War Crimes, November 22, 2001
For profiles of some of the war-crimes defendants at The Hague, see
They Would Never Hurt a Fly, by Slavenka Drakulic (2005)
Peace and Punishment By Florence Hartmann, 2007
With ICTY we have almost 15 years of experience of how an international judicial body works - important information about the problems, deficiencies and negatives, which were part of the ICTY experience.
The fact is that the US, the UK, and France did know that an offensive on Srebrenica was going to happen. Our investigation revealed that the U.S. had very good intelligence capacity in the region in 1995. They created an intelligence underground compound in Croatia in order to intercept conversation of the Serbian leadership. We were interested in the U.S. intelligence materials because of our investigation against Milošević and especially in conversations between the Serbian and the Bosnian Serb leadership in spring and summer of 1995. However the U.S. refused to give it to us.
So far we know, however, that Mladic was in contact with the Belgrade leadership to prepare the attack on Srebrenica. So by intercepting those conversations the US had enough advance notice of what was going to happen. Through other intelligence means, they knew that special units trained to kill were joining the area just before the beginning of the offensive. But neither the US nor France or the UK did anything to stop it.
In this section we will include articles of particular interest as they come to our attention.
NEW After Mladic’s Verdict: Six Lessons to Learn from Hague TrialsIn the wake of the confirmation of Ratko Mladic’s final judgment, the rulings of the Hague war crimes courts still leave us with much to discover about truth, guilt, the meaning of genocide and the elusive concept of reconciliation
. By Eric Gordy, Balkan Transitional Justice, June 9, 2021
Radovan Karadzic Leaves a Legacy of CrueltyRadovan Karadzic has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison - but in the Balkans, his vile legacy lives on through politicians who deny genocide and refuse to accept the truth about the crimes for which he was convicted. It was on Karadzic’s orders that Sarajevo was besieged, that Srebrenica was overrun and all its Bosniak boys and men slaughtered, that the towns of Bratunac, Foca, Kljuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik and many, many more, were ethnically cleansed of non-Serbs. By Jelena Subotic, Balkan Insight, March 21, 2019
Ratko Mladic Guilty of Genocide: Why aren't Bosniaks Overjoyed?They're distressed that he was not convicted of genocide for the Bosnian Serb campaign to drive out non-Serbs from over 40 municipalities at the beginning of the war in 1992. By Judith Armatta, December 20, 2017
The crimes of ‘Butcher of Bosnia’ against humanity reverberate still General Ratko Mladic’s responsibility during the Bosnian war is now enshrined in case history; reconciliation remains the work of ordinary people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. By Peter Lippman, November 28, 2017
ICTY: The Kosovo CaseThe most recent interactive narrative produced by SENSE – Transitional justice center (TCJ), entitled ICTY: The Kosovo Case 1998-1999, explains how the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia investigated, reconstructed, and prosecuted the crimes committed in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. It consists of nine short films (10 to 15 minutes long) and a selection of evidence presented and admitted at the trials for Kosovo crimes. SENSE News Agency, 2017
Targeting History and Memory The ICTY and the investigation, reconstruction, and prosecution of the crimes against cultural and religious heritage. 9-minute video by SENSE News Agency, 2016
The Long Shadow of the Seselj Verdict Seselj helped set up paramilitary units that drove tens of thousands of Muslims and Croats from their homes in eastern Bosnia and around Sarajevo, killing at least 900 people. By Gordana Knezevic, April 7, 2016
On the acquittal of SeseljBy Judith Armatta, April 1, 2016
Prosecuting Slobodan Milosevic The unfinished trial. By Nevenka Tromp, Routledge, 2016
Storm In The Hague The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) issued a total of 12 indictments against 18 political, military, and police officials from Yugoslavia, Serbia, and Croatia for crimes in the Republic of Croatia between 1991 and 1995. The cases are enumerated in text and video in this presentation. SENSE News Agency/SNV, 2015
Miscarriage of Justice Has Vojislav Seselj been provisionally released for ‘humanitarian reasons’ pending his trial judgment? Or has Seselj actually forced the Tribunal to expel him from the Detention Unit? Is the miscarriage of the 10-years-long painful search for the truth and justice the acceptable price for the punishment of a ‘disloyal judge’? SENSE News Agency, November 11, 2014
Who survives 11 yearsVojislav Šešelj leaves the scene as he entered it, a monument to other people's failures. Having constructed his first political career in Bosnia-Hercegovina on the strength of (largely accurate) claims of corruption in the local Communist party, he went on to build a second one in Serbia with an opposition party constructed by counterintelligence services designed to preemptively occupy political space that could eventually be taken up by a genuine opposition party. Building on a career that drew on the failure of two consecutive parties, he made a well-publicised third career in The Hague drawing on the failures of legal and medical institutions. By Eric Gordy, November 7, 2014
Top Yugoslav Officials Convicted of Kosovo War CrimesFormer high Yugoslav officials were affirmed guilty of murder, deportation, and inhumane treatment of Kosovo Albanians in 1999. The appellate judgment openly dismissed the finding of Judge Meron's Appeals Chamber that the "specific direction" of the accused was a "necessary element" for a conviction of aiding and abetting. Balkan Insight, January 23, 2014 See also Joint Criminal Enterprise Confirmed and Brammertz highlights importance of the Appeals Chamber's finding, SENSE News Agency.
Judge at War Crimes Tribunal Faults Acquittals of Serb and Croat CommandersA judge at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague has exposed a deep rift at the highest levels of the court in a blistering letter suggesting that the court’s president, an American, pressured other judges into approving the recent acquittals of top Serb and Croat commanders. By Marlise Simons, The New York Times, June 14, 2013
What Happened to the Hague Tribunal? The tormented reasoning of the tribunal’s 800-page verdict, acquitting two Serbian state security officials offers some fascinating reading: It affirms that crimes were committed and describes them in excruciating detail. It names the victims, names the perpetrators, and in most cases details the connections between the accused parties and the direct perpetrators. Then it declines to convict, on the ground that the evidence does not show that the support provided to the criminals was “specifically directed towards the commission of the crimes.” By Eric Gordy, The New York Times, June 2, 2013Two puzzling judgments in The Hague The credibility of the is in shreds and few understand the reasoning behind recent judgments. June 1, 2013
Hague Verdicts Allow Commanders to Evade Justice The Hague Tribunal’s acquittal of Yugoslav general Momcilo Perisic worryingly shifts responsibility for war crimes. Since 2012, the tribunal has sought to see out its existence by undoing the accomplishments of the previous phase, applying narrow standards of liability to shift guilt away from the commanders and back onto the people who made no decisions but carried out plans developed by others. By Eric Gordy, Balkan Insight, March 1, 2013
Twilight of Impunity: The War Crimes Trial of Slobodan Milošević by Judith Armatta (Duke University Press, August 2010)
Judith Armatta discusses her book. Interview with Transitions Online, October 5, 2010
Western Promises Discussion of the book Peace and Punishment: The Secret Wars of Politics and International Justice by Florence Hartmann, formerly spokesperson for the ICTY chief prosecutor. Reviews the role of Western governments in undermining the work of the Tribunal. Discusses role of Milošević as the mastermind of the Srebrenica massacre, and argues that Western officials knew this when they were negotiating with him. The book reports that Serbian documents provided strong evidence of Belgrade's control over Serbian political and military forces in Croatia and Bosnia, including the previously unknown existence of two entities within the joint chiefs of staff in Belgrade in charge of coordinating funding and personnel for the Serbian armies in those two countries By Marc Perelman, The Nation, January 7, 2008
Two cases at the Hague tribunal, concerning Kosovo and Srebrenica, will show the details of the guilt of the indicted Serbian authorities. IWPR, July 14, 2006
Kosovo Trial Srebrenica Trial
Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity A Topical Digest of the Case Law of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
This 861-page book organizes the decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia by topic, including genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, individual criminal responsibility, command responsibility, affirmative defenses, jurisdiction, sentencing, fair trial rights, guilty pleas and appellate review. Download full text of the book (pdf file, 2.7 Mb). July 2006
"Patient: S. Milošević." Reporter, a Dutch television-program, has published the entire medical file of Slobodan Milošević on its website. The site contains internal memos from the ICTY, correspondence between his attending physicians, brain scans, hearing tests, lab results, medicine charts, and the medical examiners' report. Milošević and his son wanted his medical file to be made public. June 2006
Who Gave the Order? - Scorpion Trial 2 By Jasmina Tesanovic, January 26, 2006
Eyewitness account from Belgrade courtroom by one of the Women in Black.
Book Review: Judgement Day: The Trial of Slobodan Milošević Reviewed by Elmira Bayrasli, December 2005
Author Chris Stephen sheds light on how dealing with its most infamous defendant inadvertently helped shape policymaking with regard to the creation of the International Criminal Court, ICC, the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal. Once the court’s greatest supporter, America is now its fiercest critic. The US government is currently in the forefront of efforts to prevent war crimes justice becoming a permanent feature on the world map, in opposition to the European Union and its support for the new International Criminal Court.
The Capitulation of the Hague Tribunal By Marko Attila Hoare, June 2005
The recent announcement that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia will not be issuing any more indictments against war-crimes suspects amounts to the Tribunal’s capitulation: with the sole exception of Milošević himself, the men most responsible for the bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia have escaped justice.
Milošević Wire Tap Revelations IWPR, February 6, 2004 (Republished November 9, 2005)
Telephone intercepts appear to expose Milošević role in Croatian and Bosnian conflicts.
Inside the Serbian War Machine The Milošević Telephone Intercepts, 1991-1992 By Josip Glaurdic, East European Politics and Societies, February 2009
This article examines the arguably most interesting pieces of evidence used during the trial of Slobodan Milošević at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia—more than two hundred recordings of intercepted conversations that took place in 1991 and 1992 between Milošević, Radovan Karadžić, Dobrica Ćosić, and various other protagonists on the Serbian side of the wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
See also: Intercepts of telephone calls between (former) Yugoslav officials Audio and transcripts are available from Balkan Witness upon request.
The conversations between various Serb plotters and murderers were added to the evidence at the Milošević trial. Transcripts are in English and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian. 1991-1992
The Fog of Justice By Tim Judah, New York Review of Books, January 15, 2004 (PDF)
How the Milošević trial is affecting the former Yugoslavia. For a comment on Judah's article, click here.
War Crime and Punishment By Guy Lesser, Harper's Magazine, January 2004
Extensive analysis of the Hague tribunal.
Lagging Behind Reality By Bogdan Ivanisevic, Vreme (Belgrade), December 11, 2003
An analysis explaining the main fallacies in the Serbian public's negative perceptions of the Hague tribunal's work.
Helena Ranta's Testimony at The Hague - Transcript March 12, 2003 (Word document)
Expert Testifies Racak Not Staged Coalition for International Justice, March 12, 2003
Dr. Helena Ranta's testimony summarized. She reiterated that "There were no indications of [the Racak massacre victims] being other than unarmed civilians."
Serbs, Not NATO Strike, Killed Inmates, Hague Court Hears By Marlise Simons, The New York Times, August 28, 2002
In May 1999 NATO air strikes killed 19 Albanians in a Serbian prison. The next day Serbian authorities killed over 100 more and tried to lay the blame on NATO.
The Case of the Missing Witnesses, by Mirko Klarin, IWPR, June 12, 2002
Key US officials involved in the international bid to solve the Kosovo crisis are absent from the witness list in the Milošević trial.
The Star of The Hague, by Tim Judah, New York Review of Books, April 25, 2002
Report on the trial from Belgrade and The Hague.
Kosovo Victims Gagged, by Mirko Klarin, IWPR, April 22, 2002. (Republished February 22, 2005)
Statements of Kosovar witnesses to Serbian war crimes are allowed to be filed on paper, but the world does not hear their stories.
An Audience with Milošević, by Mirna Jancic, IWPR, April 6, 2002. (Republished February 22, 2005)
Milošević may mock his victims from the Hague tribunal, but it's their best hope of getting justice. As one journalist remarked, "Imagine if Osama Bin Laden was allowed to cross-examine the survivors of the World Trade Centre." Yet I left for London convinced that the Balkans' only hope of establishing some accountability and at least some of the truth about the region's recent wars lies right there, in The Hague.
U.S. calls for phase-out of Hague tribunals, news reports, February 28, 2002
European allies disagree.
The Normalcy of War Criminals, by Slavenka Drakulic, Mother Jones, February 27, 2002
As the trial of Slobodan Milošević continues, a Croatian novelist considers how disturbingly mundane war criminals are.
Milošević Challenged by Racak Survivors, by Gordana Igric, IWPR, February 18, 2002. (Republished February 22, 2005)
Slobodan Milošević accuses the West of fabricating a massacre at Racak as a pretext for NATO intervention. One reporter at the scene recalls the survivors' testimony.
It's sick to ignore our part in the making of Milošević, by Hugo Young, The Guardian, February 14, 2002
British writer discusses past UK and US collaboration with Milošević.
Milošević Planned Kosovo Deportation, by Anthony Borden, IWPR, February 13, 2002
Prosecution says Milošević was "controlling force" behind a "concerted effort" to expel Albanians from Kosovo.
War Crimes and Individual Responsibility: A PRIMA FACIE CASE FOR THE INDICTMENT OF SLOBODAN Milošević By Paul Williams and Norman Cigar, 1997