Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Krajisnik Verdict

Krajisnik was aquitted on charges of genocide, but convicted for crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison. The prosecution orignally asked for a life sentence.
Although it should also be noted that the prosecution in every single case at the Hague asks for a longer sentence than it thinks it will get. And given Mr. Krajisnik's age, (he was born in 1945) 27 years probably does add up to a life sentence for him.
The trial chamber also found some (although in their word, "very slight") areas for mitigation: age of the defendant, his good conduct and relatively long time served in detention before the trial, family circumstances, and his limited efforts to help non Serb indviduals during the period listed in the indictment.

With regard to the charge of genocide, the trial chamber noted that:
"although the crimes that took place ".constituted the actus reus of genocide.", the evidence "does not show that.the crime of genocide formed part of the common objective of the joint criminal enterprise in which Mr Krajišnik is shown on the evidence to have participated, nor that Mr Krajišnik had the specific intent necessary for genocide."

Actus Reus is defined as the guilty act

Mens Rea is defined as the mental component of criminal liability

Therefore, the trial chamber found that the crime of genocide took place in Bosnia, but that Mr. Krajisnik himself lacked the specific intent to commit genocide.

I'm very interested in what the reaction in Bosnia (both in the newspapers, population and amongst the politicians) would be towards the verdict.
My guess is that either 1. No one is going to be happy about it. Or 2. Everyone is going to find a part of the verdict that they agree with, or to put it more bluntly that they "like." Most likely the outcome will be the third option, 3. that people aren't going to really care one way or another.
I read some articles on the Krajisnik case through IWPR in order to familiarize myself more with the case, and one of the articles made the mention that very few people in Bosnia are following this case.

Of course, I'm always interested in what you guys have to say about the verdict and trial!

I didn't follow the trial, except for reading a few articles about it last night, so I don't really have an opinion per se with regards to the verdict or sentence.
But, I do respect the ICTY as an institution, and I have no reason to doubt the validity or appropriateness of the verdict or sentence.

ICTY Press Release
ICTY Summary of the Verdict

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