Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic. Photo: balkaninsight.com via Bing.
Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic. Photo: balkaninsight.com via Bing.

Stanisic and Simatovic ordered to Hague detention unit by 30 May for 13 June retrial start: The ICTY has ordered former Serbian state security officials Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic to surrender to the UN detention unit in The Hague by 30 May for their retrial to start on 13 June 2017. The two were acquitted in their first war crimes trial at the ICTY in January 2013 due to insufficient evidence linking the former intelligence officers to the actions of the Serbian paramilitary units which killed and forcibly remove thousands of non-Serbian civilians between 1991 and 1994. In December 2015, the judges of the appeals court quashed the original ruling and ordered the retrial, citing several legal errors made during the first trial. (InSerbia News, DW)

Former Serbian policeman pleads not guilty to WC charge in EULEX proceedings in Mitrovica court: On Monday, Zoran Vukotic, a former Serbian policeman, pleaded not guilty to the war crimes charges leveled against him by the Kosovo Special Prosecution during the opening hearing at the Mitrovica Basic Court. Vukotic was extradited from Montenegro to Kosovo in November 2016, and now faces three counts of war crimes for abuses allegedly committed against the Kosovo Albanian civilian population in 1999. The indictment, brought by the prosecutor of the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo (EULEX), alleges that Vukotic actively participated in the attack on the civilian population in May 1999 and that, in his capacity as a police officer reservist and prison guard at the time, he played a part in the unlawful detention and inhuman treatment to which a large number of civilians were subject to in the Smrekovnica Prison, in the Mitrovica region. (BalkanInsight)

OHCHR releases report on CAH by militant groups in CAR from 2003-2015: On Tuesday, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a report identifying hundreds of human rights violations allegedly committed by successive governments and armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) between 2003 and 2015. In the report, UN investigators allege that some of the abuses may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and urge both prosecution and the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission. The document does not characterize the sectarian violence in the country as genocidal, but does “identify facts which may warrant further investigation to determine whether the elements of the crime may have been met”. “In documenting the violations and abuses of the past, we hope to galvanize national and international efforts to protect and bring justice to the victims of these crimes,” said Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the U.N. special representative for the country. While the report fails to identify the alleged perpetrators unless they are already the subject of sanctions or an arrest warrant, those identities are known and are being kept in a confidential database, UN officials say. The report also calls upon CAR’s Special Criminal Court, which has been agreed to in 2015, to collaborate closely with the International Criminal Court, which has opened a second investigation in CAR focusing on alleged crimes committed since 2012. (Reuters, Euronews, WashingtonPost)

Austrian man extradited to Poland for trial of killing of Russian separatists in Ukraine: On Monday, Poland has extradited to Austria a man suspected of war crimes committed during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. According to Polish authorities, the Austrian national was allegedly involved in the killing of civilians, ethnic Russian separatists, and injured troops. The suspects has denied all allegations. (AbcNews)

Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi. Photo: scrapetv.com via Bing (CC).
Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi. Photo: scrapetv.com via Bing (CC).

Saif Gaddafi freed under Libyan amnesty law and despite ICC warrant: According to Libya’s Government of National Accord, Saif Al Islam Gaddafi, son of Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi, is now free despite an ICC arrest warrant. In July 2015, a court in Tripoli sentenced Saif Gaddafi to death for war crimes, including for the alleged killing of protesters during the 2011 revolution. Gaddafi has allegedly been held under house arrest by a Zintani militia since 2011, who has refused to hand him over to the national government. According to the Libya Herald, Eisa Alsaghir, from the justice ministry, has confirmed that Gaddafi is free to move around Libya or abroad, as any other free Libyan citizen.”Saif is free under the terms of the general amnesty law issued by the House of Representatives in July 2015,” Alsaghir said. However, other local sources claim that, while Gaddafi may no longer be under house arrest, he remains under guard in Zintan “for his own protection”. (IOL News)