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UN tribunal for Balkans crimes transfers convicted police officer to Germany

8 July 2011 – The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has transferred a former police officer convicted of murder during the Balkans conflict of the 1990s to Germany to serve out his 12-year prison sentence.

Johan Tarčulovski, a police officer in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), was transferred yesterday from the Tribunal, which is based in The Hague. He is the fourth person convicted by the court to be transferred to Germany.

On 19 May 2010, the Appeals Chamber affirmed his conviction of having ordered, planned and instigated crimes committed against ethnic Albanians during a police operation conducted on 12 August 2001 in the village of Ljuboten in the northern part of FYROM.

“Tarčulovski was found guilty of the murder of three ethnic Albanian civilians, the wanton destruction of 12 houses or other property and the cruel treatment of 13 ethnic Albanian civilians,” the ICTY said.

The Appeals Chamber dismissed all grounds of appeal and upheld his sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment.

His co-accused in the case, Ljube Boškoski, Minister of Interior of the FYROM from May 2001 until November 2002, was acquitted by both the Trial and Appeals Chamber.

The Tarčulovski case is the only case related to the conflict in the territory of FYROM to have been heard by the ICTY.

Since its inception 18 years ago, the Tribunal has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 2001. Proceedings against 126 persons have been concluded. To date, the Tribunal has signed agreements on the enforcement of sentences with 17 States.

“To ensure the successful completion of its mandate, the Tribunal calls upon Member States to assist it in securing additional enforcement capacity,” the ICTY said in a press statement.

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