Prosecutor v. Plavšić

Citation: IT-00-39 & 40/1

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

Trial Judgment: 27 February 2003


Biljana Plavšić was a Bosnian Serb political figure. She was the Serbian representative to the collective Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a member of the collective and expanded Presidencies of the Bosnian Serb Republic.


Plavšić was tried, on the basis of a joint criminal enterprise, for having:

  • planned, instigated, ordered, committed or in whose planning, preparation or execution otherwise aided and abetted: conduct committed to destroy, in whole or in part, the national, ethnic, racial and religious groups of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats as such, in particular in Bosanski Novi, Brčko, Ključ, Kotor Varoš, Prijedor, and Sanski Most.

  • developed and implemented the SFS and Bosnian Serb government policies intended to advance the objective of the joint criminal enterprise

  • participated in the establishment, support, or maintenance of SDS and Bosnian Serb government bodies

  • supported, encouraged, or participated in the dissemination of information to Bosnian Serbs that they were in jeopardy at the hands of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats

  • exercised effective control over the Bosnian Serb political and governmental organs that participated in or facilitated crimes

  • encouraged the acquisition of arms and their distribution to further the objective of the joint criminal enterprise

  • requested the assistance or facilitated the participation of JNA/VJ forces and Serb and Bosnian Serb paramilitary units

  • directed, supported, or encouraged the incorporation into the Bosnian Serb Forces members of paramilitary forces and volunteer forces known to have participated or suspected of having participated in crimes

  • aided or abetted or instigated the commission of further crimes by failing to investigate, to follow up on investigations, and to punish subordinates in the Bosnian Serb Forces for crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats or other non-Serbs.

  • engaged in, supported, or facilitated efforts directed at representatives of the international community, NGOs, and the public denying or providing misleading information about crimes against Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats or other non-Serbs and about the role that Bosnian Serb force played in those crimes.

The prosecution charged her with genocide and complicity to commit genocide, crimes against humanity for extermination, murder, persecutions, deportation, and inhumane acts, and violations of the laws or customs of war for murder. In 2003, she pleaded guilty for persecution as a crime against humanity by the Trial Chamber, and was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment.


Summary based on notes from the IJRC