Retrial starting for Serbs charged with war crimes

AP News
Posted: Jun 13, 2017 5:36 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Two former allies of the late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic are going on trial for the second time in a United Nations court on charges of setting up and arming notorious Serb paramilitary gangs that committed atrocities in Bosnia and Croatia during the 1990s Balkan wars.

Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic were originally acquitted in 2013 by judges who said there was insufficient evidence linking them to the crimes, but appeals judges quashed the not-guilty verdicts in 2015 and ordered the retrial that starts Tuesday.

Stanisic was head of Serbia's state security service until Milosevic fired him in 1998. Simatovic was his deputy. Prosecutors said they were part of a criminal organization, also including Milosevic, which aimed to drive non-Serbs out of parts of Bosnia and Croatia.