Both the prosecutor and the defense of Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic filed appeals against the sentences to 9 and 18 years in prison. The appellate briefs are now being amended

Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic in the courtroomVidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic in the courtroom

After the Trial Chamber sentenced Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic to 18 and 9 years in prison respectively, for their role in the Srebrenica crimes, all parties filed appeals. The prosecutor and defense teams are currently amending and completing their appellate briefs. The judge hearing the appeal noted at today’s status conference it was to early to foresee when the appellate hearing would take place.

The date of the hearing would not depend only on the rate of the preparations, but on how busy the Appeals Chamber will be. They will first have to hear the appeals in several cases which entered the appellate stage in 2003 and 2004.

Vidoje Blagojevic, former commander of the VRS Bratunac Brigade, was found guilty of complicity in genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995. The Trial Chamber found that he had “provided substantial practical aid” in the killings, and that he had known about the genocidal intent of the masterminds and perpetrators of the crime. His co-accused, Dragan Jokic, former engineer chief in the VRS Zvornik Brigade, was found guilty of aiding and abetting the extermination, murder and persecution. They were both convicted on the basis of their individual responsibility, rather than command responsibility.

This was the second trial and the second conviction for the Srebrenica crimes. In the first one, Radislav Krstic, former commander of the Drina Corps was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He is currently serving his sentence in a British prison. Preparations are underway for the third Srebrenica trial, in which the cases against nine former officers in the Republika Srpska military and police will be joined.