In its notice of appeal against the Trial Chamber’s judgment to police general Vlastimir Djordjevic for Kosovo crimes, the prosecution notes Djordjevic should be convicted of persecution through sexual violence. The prosecution has called for a harsher sentence: instead of 27 years in prison, Djordjevic should get life sentence

Vlastimir Djordjevic in the courtroomVlastimir Djordjevic in the courtroom

Today the prosecution filed a notice of appeal against the judgment of former Serbian MUP assistant minister and chief of the Public Security Department Vlastimir Djordjevic. Djordjevic was sentenced to 27 years for his involvement in the joint criminal enterprise resulting in the murder of hundreds of people and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Albanians from Kosovo in 1999. Vlastimir Djordjevic was convicted on all five counts in the indictment charging him with deportation, forcible transfer, murder and persecution.

The prosecution’s first ground of appeal concerns the conclusion in the judgment that the persecution of Kosovo Albanians was carried out through deportations, forcible transfer, murder, destruction of property and religious facilities, but not through sexual violence. According to the judgment, there was sexual abuse in Kosovo, but "no evidence has been presented that the perpetrators acted with intent to discriminate".

In the notice of appeal, the prosecution claims the Trial Chamber failed to establish the existence of three other rape incidents: the victims were a girl in Pristina and two young women in the village of Beleg in Decani municipality. The prosecution also contends that a reasonable Trial Chamber had to conclude that those rapes were perpetrated with a discriminatory intent, and that they therefore are an element of persecution.

The second ground of appeal concerns the gravity of the sentence. The prosecution contends that 27 years in prison sentence is ‘inadequate in light of the gravity of the crimes and Djordjevic’s role in them’. The notice of appeal therefore urges the Appeals Chamber to sentence the accused to life in prison.