Vladimir Kovačević

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For the SFR Yugoslavia footballer, see Vladimir Kovačević (footballer). For the chess grandmaster, see Vlatko Kovačević.

Vladimir Kovačević (born 15 January 1961, Nikšić) is a Montenegrin Serb military officer who was charged with violation of the laws of war by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for his actions in the siege of Dubrovnik during the Croatian War of Independence.

Kovačević faced six counts of violations of the laws of war all related to the bombing of the UNESCO Heritage Site of Dubrovnik by the Third Battalion of the JNA 472 (Trebinje) Motorised Brigade, of which he was in command.[1]

His case was originally to be processed along with Pavle Strugar, a higher-ranking commander of the operation,[2] but the trial was split up on 26 November 2003.[1]

On 31 January 2005, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Strugar to eight years in prison for his role in the 1991 shelling of Dubrovnik.[3][4] In 2004 Kovačević was ruled unfit for trial due to mental health problems.[citation needed]

On 30 July 2007, the Serbian Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor announced the indictment of former Yugoslavia Army Captain Vladimir Kovačević for war crimes associated with the 1991 Siege of Dubrovnik.[5][6][7]

Latest developments[edit]

On 28 October 2004, the Prosecutor requested that the case against Kovačević be referred to Serbia and Montenegro pursuant to Rule 11bis. On 12 April 2006, the Trial Chamber issued a decision holding that the accused "does not have the capacity to enter a plea and to stand trial, without prejudice to any future criminal proceedings against him should his mental condition change."

A referral hearing was held on 15 September 2006 and on 17 November 2006 the Referral Bench ordered that the case against Kovačević be referred to Serbia. On 1 December 2006, the Defence for Kovačević filed a notice of appeal against the decision on the referral. On 28 March 2007, the Appeals Chamber dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision to refer the case to the Republic of Serbia. Kovačević was charged by the Republic of Serbia, but a decision was later rendered finding him unfit to stand trial due to reported poor health.[8]

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