Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
Practice Relating to Rule 158. Prosecution of War Crimes
In the Trajković case
in 2001, a Kosovan Serb and former chief of police, was convicted, inter alia
, of having participated in crimes committed against the civilian population in 1999, acts which the District Court of Gnjilan in Kosovo (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) found had to be qualified as war crimes under Article 142 of the Penal Code of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well as crimes against humanity. The Court also found that the acts had been committed “in time of war”.
However, on appeal, the Supreme Court of Kosovo overruled this judgment and ordered that the case be returned to the same court for retrial.
In a written opinion, the International Prosecutor for the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Kosovo stated:
Article 146 of Geneva Convention IV requires states party to the Convention to criminalize the commission and ordering of grave breaches of the Convention during armed conflict … Article 142 of the Yugoslav Penal Code appears most directly derived from this provision of international law.