Prosecutor v. Đorđević

Citation: IT-05-87/1

Link to the full case: http://www.icty.org/case/djordjevic/4

Trial Judgment: 23 February 2011; Appeal Judgment: 27 January 2014


Vlastimir Đorđević was the Assistant Minister at the Ministry of the Interior and Chief of the Public Security Department that was responsible for all units and personnel of the Public Security Department in Serbia between January 1 and June 20, 1999. He was tried for planning, instigating, ordering, committing or otherwise aiding and abetting the planning, preparation or execution of systematic crimes against Kosovar Albanians between January and June, 1999. These crimes included the systematic shelling of towns and villages; murder of Kosovar Albanian men, women, and children; the destruction of Kosovar Albanian cultural and religious institutions; the sexual assault of Kosovar Albanian women; and the deportation and internal displacement of approximately 800,000 Kosovar Albanians from Kosovo.


Đorđević was charged on the basis of joint criminal enterprise and individual and superior criminal responsibility for crimes against humanity for deportation, inhumane acts of forcible transfer, murder, and persecutions and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder. The Trial Chamber convicted him in 2011 for individual criminal responsibility, and noted that his participation in the joint criminal enterprise was crucial for its success – as he had exercised his legal powers, and powers over the police, when they committed crimes against Kosovars. His participation was equally instrumental in the Ministry of the Interior efforts to conceal the murders of Kosovars. It sentenced him to 27 years’ imprisonment.


In 2014, the Appeals Chamber reversed his convictions on the basis of aiding and abetting the crimes committed in Kosovo, as his criminal conduct was fully reflected in a conviction based on his participation in the joint criminal enterprise. It also overturned Đorđević’s conviction for deportation as there was no proof of the existence of a border between Kosovo and Montenegro at the time, a necessary component of a crime of deportation. It found that the Trial Chamber had erred with respect to determinations of guilt for certain municipalities. Đorđević was eventually found guilty of persecution through sexual assaults. He was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment instead of 27 years.


Summary based on notes from the IJRC