1 February 1950 |
Belgrade, FPR Yugoslavia
|Allegiance||State Security Service
|Years of service||1978–2001|
|Unit||Special Operations Unit|
Franko "Frenki" Simatović (Serbian Cyrillic: Франко "Френки" Симатовић, born 1 April 1950, Belgrade, FPR Yugoslavia) was the head of the Serbian secret police of Slobodan Milošević, the Special Forces of State Security of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs. He was the founder of the Special Operations Unit. Simatović was acquitted of all charges on 30 May 2013. However, it was reported in the New York Times that his acquittal and that of Jovica Stanišić had been overturned on 15 December 2015 by a United Nations' ICTY Appeals Chamber (presiding judge, Fausto Pocar).
Born in Belgrade, Simatović is an ethnic Croat. He was born to Lt. Col. Pero Simatović and Neda Winter, and was named after his grandfather Franko Winter, founder of a law firm in Bjelovar and an associate of Josip Broz Tito.
Lt. Col. Pero Simatović was high-ranking officer in the Yugoslav People's Army, who graduated in British naval school after the Second World War. He was the Chief Personnel UNEF Hq. Gaza to the peacekeeping mission in Sinai during 1959.
War crimes investigations
Simatović was accused of committing atrocities against non-Serbs during the Yugoslav wars including persecution and murder. As part of Milan Martić's trial at the ICTY, Simatović was found to be part of a "joint criminal enterprise which aimed to create a Greater Serbia including parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina."
Simatović was acquitted of all charges on 30 May 2013. However, it was reported in the New York Times that his acquittal and that of Jovica Stanišić had been overturned on 15 December 2015 by the United Nations' ICTY Appeals Chamber (presiding judge, Fausto Pocar). The two men are prohibited from returning to Serbia and are being held at The Hague.
However, it was reported in the New York Times that his acquittal as well as that of Jovica Stanišić, had been overturned on 15 December 2015 by the appeals chamber, which vacated the initial verdict deemed faulty as it was based on an insistence that the men could only be guilty if they "specifically directed" the crimes. On 22 December 2015, Simatović and Stanišić were granted temporary release. The case is now being handled by the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, MICT, which is taking over the ICTY's remaining cases as it prepares to close in 2017. Back in Serbia, the two must report to a local police station in Belgrade every day and surrender their passports to the Serbian Ministry of Justice.
Per ICTY, the judges named for the retrial are Judges Burton Hall, Seon Ki Park and Solomy Balungi Bossa.
- Franko Simatovic Frenki: The Croat who heads Milosevic's secret police
- "The Hague: Ex-Paramilitary Leader Pleads Not Guilty", nytimes.com, 3 June 2003; accessed 16 December 2015.
- Pero Simatovic in Gaza, 21 December 1959, Photo # 147106, United Nations.
- "Case Information Sheet Stanišić & Simatović" (PDF). IT-03-69 The Prosecutor v. Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Summary of Judgement for Milan Martić" (PDF). International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 12 June 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- "Oslobođeni Stanišić i Simatović". B92. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
- Hague Court orders retrial for 2 aides of Milosević, New York Times, 16 December 2015.
- "UN Court Frees Serbian Security Chiefs Before Trial", balkaninsight.com; accessed 25 December 2015.