News

Criminal complaint for crime in Ternje

09.05.2008

After careful consideration of available evidence about the murder of several dozens of Kosovo Albanians (42 victims have been identified so far) on March 25, 1999 in Trnje/Ternje village, Suva Reka municipality, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) has cause to believe that Božidar Delić, a retired major-general and another 10 persons, mostly members of the 549th motorized brigade of the Yugoslav Army (YA) under his command and a number of members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia (MUP Serbia) acted in accordance with a preconceived plan and agreement and committed these murders thus becoming criminally responsible for committing a war crime against the civilian population from Article 142, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (KZ SRJ), in connection with Article 22 of the KZ SRJ as co-perpetrators, while some of them are charged as instigators according to Article 23 of the KZ SRJ and accomplices according to Article 24, paragraph 2 of the KZ SRJ.

The Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor had opportunity to hear the testimony of Bekim Gashi, an eyewitness from the Trnje/Ternje village, whose mother and four sisters were killed by Serbian soldiers and police on March 23, 1999. Due to the fact that the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor has failed to react, HLC filed a criminal complaint against Božidar Delić and 10 other persons on May 8, 2008, fulfilling its legal obligation to report on perpetrators of the most serious criminal act which in accordance with Article 253 of the Criminal Procedure Code requires automatic official prosecution. HLC expects that Serbia will soon create an atmosphere in which state authorities tasked with (and paid for) detection and criminal prosecution of perpetrators of criminal acts will be free of fear to file criminal complaints when it comes to such serious crimes.


For more information about the crime, see Ternje on zone of (non)responsibility.