The Appeals Chamber of the Hague Tribunal today rejected the appeals of Ratko Mladic and confirmed his sentence of life imprisonment, with the partially dissenting opinion of Judge Niamba, the chairman of the Appeals Chamber.
It is interesting that Judge Prisca Matimba Nijambe had a dissenting opinion on almost all counts of the appeal from the rest of the Appeals Chamber, and if it were, Mladic’s appeals on almost all counts of the indictment would have been accepted.
Priska Matimba Nijambe is from Zambia, and she is the chairman of the Appellate Chamber in the Mladic case. Ten years ago, in 2011 to be precise, she was elected a judge of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Courts, while since 2006 she has been a judge of the High Court of Zambia.
“Contrary to the views of most members of the Council, I do not agree with the view that there was a joint criminal enterprise among individuals in the Bosnian Serb forces and the RS leadership to forcibly remove the Bosnian Muslim population. I do not think that there was a common goal for such a criminal enterprise, but that the population of the enclaves wanted to leave and that, with the help of the Army of BiH and the War Presidency of Zepa, they reached an agreement on evacuating people due to war. Accordingly, I cannot conclude that any “forcible transfer” contributed to the conclusion of genocide or association for the purpose of committing genocide. “As I cannot conclude, based on the overall evidence from the records, Muslim civilians in the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves persecuted Bosnian Serb forces with the requested special intent,” Judge Nijambe wrote in a separate opinion, Novosti reports.
She stated that, having in mind the nature and gravity of the legal errors observed in this case, unlike other members of the Appeals Chamber, she would “order Mladic to be retried before another Trial Chamber, on all counts of the indictment except Prosecution 6, for hostage-taking in a joint criminal enterprise. ” Her separate opinion is written on about sixty pages, states “Blic”.
Judge Niyambe, by the way, is one of the most respected judges not only in Zambia, where she was a judge of the High Court of that country from 2006 until her retirement in 2015, according to her biography.
In addition to being a judge of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Courts, and formerly of the Hague Tribunal, she was also a legal advisor to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
She was a member of the trial chamber at the trial of Zdravko Tolimir, a general in the Republika Srpska Army, who was sentenced to life in prison for crimes in Srebrenica and Zepa, and later died in The Hague. Even then, Nijambe separated her opinion and wrote an explanation on 36 pages why Tolimir is not guilty and that he should be acquitted on all counts of the indictment.
– SERBIAN info (@srbininfo) June 8, 2021
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