Vujadin Popovic voluntarily surrendered on 14 April 2005 and was transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on the same day.
At his first appearance before the ICTY, he pleaded not guilty of all the charges against him.
According to the modified indictment, Vujadin Popovic is accused on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility (art. 7 par.1 ICTY Statute) with:
- conspiracy to commit genocide;
- extermination (as a crime against humanity);
- murder (as a crime against humanity);
- murder (as a violation of the laws and customs of war);
- persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds (as a crime against humanity);
- forcible transfer (inhumane act, as a crime against humanity); and
- deportation (as a crime against humanity).
On 21 September 2005, following the Prosecutor’s demand, the ICTY judges agreed to join the nine cases linked to Srebrenica’s massacre. The nine accused – Ljubisa Beara, Ljubomir Borovcanin, Milan Gvero, Radivoje Miletic, Drago Nikolic, Vinko Pandurevic, Vujadin Popovic, Zdravko Tolimir and Milorad Trbic – were all senior Bosnian Serb army, VRS, and police officers.
The trial began on 14 July 2006.
Early March 2008, the trial Chamber of the ICTY rejected acquittal motions presented by the defence. The Court said that the prosecutor had introduced enough evidence to justify the charges against the accused.
The closing argument took place on 7 February 2008; those of the defence started on 2 June 2008 and ended on 12 March 2009.
On 10 and 11 March, then on 25 March 2009, the prosecutor reopened his case with three witnesses and, besides, called four discharge witnesses between 23 March and 29 April 2009.
The closing arguments started on 24 August 2009.
On 10 June 2010, the Trial Chamber sentenced Popović to life imprisonment. He was found to be guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the ICTY Statute of:
- Extermination, as a crime against humanity;
- Murder, as a violation of the laws or customs of war and;
- Persecution, as a crime against humanity.
The Trial Chamber did not enter a conviction for the crimes of Conspiracy to commit Genocide and; murder, as a crime against humanity on the basis of the principles relating to cumulative convictions. He is found not guilty and therefore acquitted of Inhumane Acts (forcible transfer), a crime against humanity and; Deportation, a crime against humanity.
On 8 September 2010 the defence and the prosecution filed their notices of appeal.
On 6 December 2013, the appeal hearing of Popović and four others accused (Ljubisa Beara, Drago Nikolic, Vinko Pandurevic, and Radivoje Miletic) linked to Srebrenica’s massacre, has taken place. Lawyers claim numerous elements of the judgements were flawed.
At the appellate hearing the prosecution asked the judges to find Popovic guilty of other crimes.
On 30 January 2015 the Appeals Chamber reversed only the conviction for the killing of six Bosnian Muslim men near Trnovo, carried out by the paramilitary unit known as the Scorpions, whose own video of the murders provided conclusive evidence. Simultaneously, the Appeals Chamber added a conviction for conspiracy to commit genocide.
Popovic’s sentence was upheld.
Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.