Sentenced to 27 years of imprisonment on 6 September 2011 for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war. Appeal before the ICTY started on 30 October 2012. Acquitted by the Appeals Chamber on 28 February 2013.
Momcilo Perisic was born on 22 May 1944 in Kostunici in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). He joined the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and graduated from the military school in 1966.
When the conflict in the former Yugoslavia broke out, Momcilo Perisic was the commander of the JNA Artillery School Centre in Zadar. In January 1992, he was appointed commander of the newly established 13th Corps of the JNA which had a command post in the Mostar region of the SFRY. In May 1992, after it formally withdrew from the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) the JNA was renamed the Yugoslav Army (VJ).
In June 1992, Momcilo Perisic was appointed Chief of General Staff and Deputy Commander of the 3rd Army based in Nis. He became its Commander in April 1993. Under Yugoslav law he was subordinate only to the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and the FRY Supreme Defence Council (SDC).
In November 1993, Momcilo Perisic created the units known as the “30th Personnel Centre” for members of the VJ serving in the ranks of the Army of the Republika Srpska (VRS), and the “40th Personnel Centre” for members of the VJ serving in the Army of the Serbian Krajina (SVK) These centres provided supplies to senior officers of the different armies in order to cover up any involvement of the VJ and the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
As stated in the indictment, between August 1993 and November 1995, Momcilo Perisic allegedly aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or execution of a military campaign of artillery and mortar shelling and sniping onto civilian areas of Sarajevo and upon its civilian population, killing and wounding thousands of civilians
Furthermore it was alleged that on 2 and 3 May 1995, on order of Milan Martic, General Celeketic of the SVK ordered his subordinates to fire rockets with cluster bomb warheads into the central district of Zagreb and the airport at Pleso. These unlawful attacks resulted in the deaths of at least seven people and of 194 wounded amongst the civilian population.
Amongst the subordinates to Momcilo Perisic who had taken part in the events in Zagreb were Milan Celeketic and other senior officers of the SVK who were serving in its ranks through the intermediary of the 40th Personnel Centre.
Momcilo Perisic allegedly had reasons to know that these persons had taken part in the crimes perpetrated in Zagreb but had failed to initiate an enquiry into their possible involvement.
It is further alleged that on 2 July 1995, the VRS and other Bosnian Serb forces, under the command of General Ratko Mladic launched an attack against the enclave of Srebrenica. This attack was to continue until 11 July 1995, when Ratko Mladic and the forces under his command entered Srebrenica.
Momcilo Perisic reportedly knew that this attack was being planned, just as he was aware that certain members of the VRS had taken part in criminal acts aimed at the civilian Muslim population in Srebrenica; acts which took the form of persecutions, forcible transfers and murder.
Finally, it was alleged that between 12 and 20 July 1995, thousands of Bosnian Muslim men were captured by Bosnian Serb forces. More than 7000 of the prisoners captured in the area surrounding Srebrenica were summarily executed between 13 and 19 July 1995, and many were subsequently buried in mass graves.
According to the indictment, members of the 30th Personnel Centre of the VJ planned, instigated, ordered, committed and otherwise aided and abetted in the commission of the above mentioned crimes. Momcilo Perisic had reasons to know that his subordinates had taken part in the perpetration of these crimes in Srebrenica but despite this knowledge, had failed to initiate any enquiry.
Momcilo Perisic gave himself up on 7 March 2005 and was transferred on the same day to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).