Ivica Perkovic

09.05.2016 ( Last modified: 07.06.2016 )
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Ivica Perković alias Mungos (“Mongoose”), born on 27 June 1965 in Brezici, municipality of Derventa. Ivica Perković, was a member of the 103rd Derventa Brigade of the HVO, the Croat Defence Council.

During the armed conflict between the Territorial Defence Force of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO on one side and the armed forces of the Serb Republic of BiH on the other, Perković intentionally inflicted severe physical and mental injuries and incited others to do the same. During the months of April, May and June 1992, in the region of Derventa, Perković beat, allegedly tortured and in other inhumane ways mistreated Serb civilians who were unlawfully detained the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) detention center in Derventa, known as hangar “Rabić”, and the premises of an elementary school in the village of Zelenika. Perković, abused the detainees, beat and inflicted upon them fire arms wounds, and tortured them in an extremely brutal manner, thus inflicting on them severe physical and mental injuries.

On 26 April 1992 in the JNA Center in Derventa, he “intentionally inflicted serious physical and mental pain” on inhabitants of Serb ethnicity from the settlement of Cardak, following their prior capture by members of the Croat Defence Council (HVO) and the so-called Rijeka Brigade. Perkovic poured salt in one person’s mouth, forcing him to swallow it and then to fight with another prisoner. Displeased with how they fought, he beat them both. Furthermore, Perkovic beat a prisoner, first giving him two candles and saying: “If those candles go out your life will go out too.” Perkovic allegedly participated also in beating prisoners of Serb ethnicity in the “Rabic” hangar, using “a bat, butt of a gun and feet” and he encouraged another Croat Defence Council member to abuse a prisoner in the primary school in Zelenika.

On 9 May 1992, Perkovic took part in the beating of one person in that school.

On 12 March 2010, the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed the indictment against Perkovic, charging him with having intentionally caused severe bodily injuries and suffering of Serbs, who were detained in the Derventa area, during April, May and June 1992. This indictment was confirmed by the Court on the 17 March 2010.


legal procedure

On 12 March 2010, the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina filed the indictment against Perkovic, charging him with having intentionally caused severe bodily injuries and suffering of Serbs, who were detained in the Derventa area, during April, May and June 1992. This indictment was confirmed by the Court on the 17 March 2010.
Perković was charged with War Crimes Against Civilians pursuant to Article 173(1) of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina in conjunction with item c), which includes, inter alia, intentional infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon a person, all in conjunction with Articles 29, 30 and 180 (1) (individual criminal responsibility).

Even though the Doboj District Prosecution requested that Perkovic be tried according to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Criminal Code of the former Yugoslavia was applied. The presiding judge of the Trial Chamber, Hatidza Hodzic, explained that the former Yugosla code was in force when the crime was committed and it is more favourable for the accused.

On 18 July 2012, the District Court in Doboj rendered its first instance judjement. According to the judgement, Perkovic was found guilty of having beaten a civilian during April and May 1992 and told other HVO members to mistreat him. He was also found guilty of having participated in the torture of a civilian in the Yugoslav National Army JNA Center, in Derventa.
Under the first instance judgement, Perkovic was sentenced to five and a half, and two years in prison, respectively.

Perkovic, who lives in Croatia and defended himself while at liberty, did not attend the pronouncement of the verdict. The parties filed an appeal against the judgements of the Doboj District Court with the Supreme Court of Republika Srpska.

He was acquitted of charges for the aiding and participating in the assault of a detainee and the torture of two others. The count referring to the torture of two residents of Cardaci, near Derventa, was rejected.

The Supreme Court reached the verdict following a retrial and the revocation of the two previous first instance judgements of the District Court in Doboj. Perkovic was acquitted of charges for the aiding and participating in the assault of a detainee and the torture of two others. The count referring to the torture of two residents of Cardaci, near Derventa, was rejected. On 30 March 2015 the Supreme Court of Republika Srpska sentenced Ivica Perkovic to four years in prison for crimes committed against Serb civilians in Derventa.




The conflict in former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1999, shocked international public opinion because of the abuses revealed by the press, which were committed by all parties to the conflict (massacres, forced displacements of population, concentration camps …). The conflict is considered to consist of several separate conflicts, which were ethnic in nature – the war in Slovenia (1991), the war in Croatia (1991-1995), the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) and the war Kosovo (1998-1999), which also involved the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

The conflicts accompanied the break-up of Yugoslavia, when the constituent republics declared their independence. The wars mostly ended after peace accords were signed, and new republics were given full international recognition of their statehood.

In order to restore peace and security in the region, the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of UN Charter, created on 25 May 1993, by Resolution 827, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It was determined that pursuant to numerous reports of, among other, mass killings, systematic detention, rapes, practice of “ethnic cleansing”, transfers, etc., these acts constituted a threat to international peace and security, necessitating a reaction by Security Council. As the Tribunal was created during the ongoing conflict, the Security Council expressed its hopes that ICTY would contribute to halting violations in the region. Its headquarters are in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Tribunal has jurisdiction to prosecute persons responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law – grave breaches of Geneva Conventions, violations of laws and customs of war, genocide and crimes against humanity – allegedly committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia after 1 January 1991, (no end date was specified). Since its creation, the ICTY has indicted more than 160 people, including heads of states and government members.

The Tribunal’s mandate was originally meant to expire on 31 December 2009, but the Security Council voted unanimously to extend the mandate of the Court with several judges, including permanent judges, so that the ongoing trials can be completed. According to the “ICTY Completion Strategy Report” from 18 May 2011, all trials were supposed to be completed by the end of 2012, and all the appeals by the end of 2015. The exceptions were cases of Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic.

The Security Council adopted resolution 1966 on 22 December 2010, establishing International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. The ICTY residual mechanism began functioning on 1 July 2013.

The Tribunal was called to finish its work by the end of 2014, in order to prepare closure and transfer of cases to the Residual Mechanism. The Mechanism is a small and temporary body, which plays important role in ensuring that the completion strategy of ICTY does not result in impunity of fugitives and in injustice. It is conducting all outstanding first instance trials, including those of Karadzic, Mladic and Hadzic. It is also to complete all appeals proceedings that were filed before 1 July 2013.

The ICTY is not the only court with jurisdiction to try alleged perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the former Yugoslavia. The Tribunal has concurrent jurisdiction with national courts. However, it takes precedence over them and may require the referral from the national court at any stage of the proceedings (Article 9 of the ICTY Statute). The Statute does not elaborate how the primacy is to be exercised, but it was asserted by the judges of the ICTY in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The primacy can be asserted in three cases: when an international crime is intentionally or unwittingly prosecuted before national court as an “ordinary criminal offence”, when a national court is unreliable, or when the case is closely related, or may be relevant to other cases being tried by the ICTY.


National courts also have jurisdiction to prosecute alleged perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law.

In the former Yugoslavia, the trials of those accused of war crimes have been opened by the courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Section for War Crimes was set up in the Criminal and Appellate Divisions of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Special Chamber for War Crimes has jurisdiction to prosecute the most serious alleged war crimes committed in Bosnia, and was created to relieve the ICTY, so that it can focus on criminals of high rank. Its establishment was also considered necessary for effective war crimes prosecution in Bosnia. The opening of the Special Chamber was on 9 March 2005.

Additionally, pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 from 10 June 1999, UN administration was created in Kosovo. Consequently, in 2000 “Regulation 64” Panels in Courts of Kosovo were created, which are mixed chambers at the local courts. They have two international judges and one national. These panels work in collaboration with the ICTY. They have jurisdiction over those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. They focus on prosecuting lower ranking offenders.

In Serbia, the Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor was established on 1 July 2003. It was created to detect and prosecute perpetrators of criminal offenses against humanity and international law, and offences recognised by the ICTY Statute, regardless of the nationality, citizenship, race or religion of the perpetrator and the victim, as long as the acts were committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia after 1 January 1991. Its seat is in Belgrade, Serbia.

Other relevant national jurisdictions are under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows states with a specific legal basis, to try perpetrators of serious crimes regardless of their nationality or that of the victims and regardless of where the crime was committed.


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