UN Court: Two Milosevic Allies Have Convictions Extended

Photo: Asrdjan [via Wikimedia Commons]

The Facts

  • UN appeals court judges extended the convictions of two former Serbian security officials and allies of the late Serbian Pres. Slobodan Milosevic on Wednesday, ruling that they were criminally responsible for their role in a plan to ethnically cleanse Bosnia and a Croatian town of non-Serbs during the Balkan wars.

  • Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic saw their prison sentences rise from 12 to 15 years after the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals overturned their acquittals of involvement in crimes in Bosnia and Croatia.

The Spin

Narrative A

After decades, it's refreshing to see justice finally being served in some capacity as two of Slobodan Milosevic’s allies will pay for their participation in a plot to ethnically cleanse parts of the Balkans. While Milosevic died before he could be held liable, at least some members of his regime will be, which will serve as a reminder of Serbia’s role in the devastating Balkan wars.

Narrative B

The convictions of Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic show the UN’s hostility towards Serbia and its willingness to sentence innocent men to prison unjustly. There is no proof of any crimes from these two men, yet the UN only has one standard of guilt: if you’re a Serb, you're assumed guilty. The prosecution of Stanisic and Simatovic is part of a wider goal to blame all Serbs for the Balkan war and punish Serbia for the war from over 30 years ago.

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