skip navigation

Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Stojan Perković

Court Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Section I for War Crimes, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Case number X-KR-09/662
Decision title Verdict
Decision date 24 December 2009
  • Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Stojan Perković
Categories Crimes against humanity
Keywords Crimes against humanity; former Yugoslavia; murder; persecution; rape; Rogatica Municipality
back to top


Stojan Perković was born on 3 October 1944 in the village of Lađevina located in the municipality of Rogatica. Between June and December 1992, Perković was Commander in the army of the so-called Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (VRS). In that position, he committed crimes, including murder, beatings, and rape, against non-Serb civilians in the villages of Surovi, Mesici and Varosiste in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, Perković did not punish the members of his unit for participating in the commission of those crimes. On 24 December 2009, Perković was found guilty for the crimes and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

back to top

Procedural history

On 15 January 2009, Stojan Perković was arrested.

On 13 April 2009, the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued an indictment against Perković.

On 20 April 2009, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Court of BiH) confirmed the indictment against Perković. According to the indictment, Perković was charged with persecution as a crime against humanity in conjunction with murder, imprisonment, torture, rape, forced disappearance of persons, and other inhumane acts.

On 21 May 2009, at the plea hearing, Perković pleaded not guilty.

On 26 June 2009, the trial commenced.

On 17 December 2009, a plea agreement was signed between the Prosecutor's Office and Perković. Under the agreement, Perković admitted guilt for crimes against humanity in violation of Article 172 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and agreed upon a sentence of between 12 to 14 years imprisonment.

On 22 December 2009, the State Court of BiH accepted the plea agreement.

back to top

Legally relevant facts

During the period from June 1992 until late 1992, the army and police of the so-called Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (also known as “Republika Srpska”), as well as paramilitary groups, directed a widespread and systematic attack against non-Serb civilians residing in the municipality of Rogatica.

It was alleged that within this widespread and systematic attack, Perkovićas member of the army of Republika Srpska (VRS), serving as Commander of the unit stationed in the village of Lađevine, perpetrated, instigated, aided and abetted inhumane acts against the non-Serb civilians residing in Rogatica.

back to top

Core legal questions

Can Stojan Perković be found guilty of crimes against humanity?

back to top

Specific legal rules and provisions

Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, 1950, Council of Europe:

  • Article 7 - No punishment without law

Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2003:

  • Article 3 - Principle of Legality

  • Article 4 - Time Constraints Regarding Applicability

  • Article 29 - Accomplices

  • Article 56 - Credit for the Period Spent in Custody and Credit for Punishment under an Earlier Sentence

  • Article 172(1)(a), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), and (k) - Crimes against Humanity

  • Article 180 - Individual Criminal Responsibility

Criminal Procedure Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2006:

  • Article 188 - Costs of Proceedings when the Accused is Found Guilty

  • Article 198(2) - Ruling on the Claims under Property Law

  • Article 231(6) - Plea Bargaining

  • Article 235 - Exclusion of the Public

  • Article 273(2) - Exceptions from the Imminent Presentation of Evidence

  • Article 283(b) - Verdict Dismissing the Charges

back to top

Court's holding and analysis

Following the acceptance of the plea agreement, the Trial Panel of Section I for War Crimes of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found Perković guilty of crimes against humanity, and sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment. In particular, Perković was found guilty of committing killings, enforced disappearance of persons, severe depriving of physical freedom contrary to the basic rules of international law, rapes, persecution of the non-Serb civilian population on national, ethnic, religious and sexual grounds, as well as other inhumane acts committed with the intent to cause great suffering, serious physical injuries and health damage. Moreover, Perković was also found guilty for not preventing or punishing other VRS members for committing those acts while he had knowledge about it.

The Trial Panel held that Perković demanded the residents of the village of Surovi to surrender the weapons they had at their disposal in June 1992. Having surrendered their weapons, on or around 28 June 1992, Perković came to the village, armed and escorted by a dozen members of his unit, and unlawfully deprived a number of civilians of their liberty. Following this event, the civilians left the village fearing for their lives and bodily integrity. One civilian who has been unaccounted for ever since, while two other civilians were deprived of their lives by unidentified members of Perković’s unit. Perković must have had knowledge about it, but failed to take any steps to prevent it or to punish the perpetrators (para. 1).

Furthermore, the Trial Panel found that Perković, together with other VRS members, unlawfully arrested and detained civilians in the villages of Mesići and Kosova (paras. 2 and 3). In addition, it found that Perković unlawfully detained civilians who are unaccounted for since September 1992, raped a woman, and failed to prevent or punish VRS members that deprived a woman of her life while they acted under his control (paras. 4 - 6).

The Trial Panel acquitted Perković of the charges that he demanded the residents of the villages of Kukavice, Kujundžijevići, and Mesići in June 1992 to surrender the weapons they had at their disposal. After the residents had surrendered their weapons, artillery and subsequently infantry attacks were launched on those villages on or around 9, 10, and 11 July 1992. Those attacks were led by Perković, and conducted in cooperation with members of his unit. A large number of civilians was killed (p. 4).

back to top

Instruments cited

back to top

Related cases

Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Prosecutor v. Radisav Ljubinac, Case No. X-KRZ-05/154, verdict, 4 October 2007.

Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Dragoje Paunović, Case No. X-KRZ-05/16, verdict, 27 October 2006.

back to top

Additional materials

‘Stojan Perković’, TRIAL.

‘Case Information - Perković Stojan’, Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

‘Stojan Perkovic Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison’, Justice Report, 24 December 2009.

‘Ubistva, premlaćivanje, progon: Stojan Perković osuđen na 12 godina zatvora’, 24INFO, 24 December 2009.

‘Stojan Perković osuđen na 12 godina zatvora’,, 24 December 2009.

M. Sadiković, ‘Perković osuđen, žrtve zadovoljne priznanjem krivice’, Radio Slobodna Evropa, 6 January 2010.

back to top

Social media links

Serbian War Crime Stoja Perković Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison’,, 24 December 2009.

‘Osam uhićenih zbog ratnih zločina u Rogatici’,, 17 November 2013.

‘Un Serbe de Bosnie condamné à 12 ans de prison pour crimes de guerre’, 7sur7, 24 December 2009.