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War crimes tribunal: Key facts


Following are some key facts about the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

  • The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was established by Resolution 827 of the United Nations Security Council in May 1993.
  • Based in The Hague, it is the first international body for the prosecution of war crimes since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials held in the aftermath of World War II.
  • The tribunal has jurisdiction over individuals responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the territory of the former Yugoslavia after January 1, 1991.
  • It has no police force of its own and relies on the former Yugoslav republics, other states or the international peace forces (SFOR and KFOR) in Bosnia and in Kosovo to make arrests.
  • The tribunal may not try suspects in absentia, nor impose the death penalty. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.
  • Milosevic is charged with crimes against humanity. The indictment covers the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians from their homes in 1999 as well as specific massacres in villages such as Racak, Bela Crkva and Velika Krusa.

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