2009 | Prosecutorís Office Of Bosnia And Herzegovina v. Milorad Trbić (1st Instance Verdict) Case No.: X-KR-07/386 Delivered 16 October 2009
In this case a large number of victims brought compensation claims relating to the Srebrenica massacre within the criminal trial before the State Court of BiH.
In 2009, prosecutors and staff in the Special Department for War Crimes’ Srebrenica team, worked to organize and coordinate the work of the several agencies and institutions, such as the Missing Persons Institute and the International Commission on Missing Persons, who are responsible for excavation and exhumation of graves in and around Srebrenica. As a result of this work, over 3,000 survivors and family members of victims of the Srebrenica killings were given notice of the their right to file injured party property claims in conjunction with the prosecution of Milorad Trbić. In accordance with their right (under B&H's Criminal Procedural Code of 2003 - see our Legal Instruments page in this section) injured parties in this case made over 2,000 claims before the close of the main trial.
On October 16, 2009, a First Instance verdict convicted Trbić of genocide and other crimes committed in connection with events in and around Srebrenica and sentenced him to thirty years in prison. Because relatives of victims of the Srebrenica killings had the opportunity to file claims in Trbic, their perception of and confidence in the Special Department and in the State Court increased considerably. The Special Department’s work in Trbić also created the expectation that injured parties in other cases would have similar opportunities to file property claims
However in paragraphs 837-875 of the Decision the Trial Chamber simply referred all ‘vicitms to pursue their property law claims by taking civil action, considering that the process of establishing the facts in terms of the amounts of the claim would require a longer time.’ This cursory dismissal of the matter by the Trial Chamber was upheld as correct by the Appellate Chamber at paragraphs 327-333 (see below). Information on the subsequent efforts of these victims to bring separate civil actions is not available at the moment.