National Prosecutions


A 94-year-old German who worked as a bookkeeper at the Auschwitz death camp has been convicted of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people and sentenced to four years in prison, in what could be one of the last big Holocaust trials.


This summer, Hissène Habré, the former dictator of Chad, will finally stand trial before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal for crimes against humanity, torture, and war crimes. In a conversation with Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson of Human Rights Watch, who has worked with Hissène Habré’s victims since 1999, we discussed the potential impact of the trial on Chad and its broader significance for the struggle against impunity in Africa.


The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) held a seminar for Congolese military and civilian magistrates on June 24 and 25, 2015, to discuss a national strategy for prosecuting international crimes and prioritizing cases to clear the backlog in national courts. The seminar aimed to examine and propose solutions for why so many well-documented crimes committed by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remain unaddressed.


On 26 June each year, the world marks the International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture. The day was instituted in 1997 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, in an effort to build up the unanimity of condemnation required to abolish torture effectively in our time. In the effort to draw attention to the struggle against torture that this international commemoration signifies, we spoke to Juan Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and President Emeritus of ICTJ.


Forensic expert Ian Hanson testified at former Bosnian Serb military chief Mladic’s trial at the Hague Tribunal on Wednesday that “371 sets of mortal remains” were exhumed from the mass grave at the Tomasica mine, near Prijedor.


Bosnia asked Switzerland on Monday to hand over the wartime Muslim defender of Srebrenica and not extradite him to Serbia, in a row that threatens to overshadow the 20th anniversary of the massacre.

Naser Oric, a hero to many Bosnian Muslims, was arrested by Swiss police last week on a warrant issued in 2014 by Serbia accusing him of war crimes against Bosnian Serbs in the Srebrenica region during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.


Some 16 years after NATO’s air campaign ended Serbian rule in Kosovo, the law may at last be catching up with high-ranking Kosovar politicians who allegedly committed crimes at the time. After long delay and years of witness intimidation, a special court may soon be formed to try some ten men, including a few said to be Kosovo’s organised-crime bosses.


Political party leader and former PM Ramush Haradinaj was arrested in Slovenia on a Serbian warrant that alleges that he committed war crimes during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo.


An Egyptian court has upheld a death sentence against the ousted president Mohamed Morsi in a trial stemming from his escape from prison during the 2011 uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak from power.


Belgrade special court on Tuesday cleared former paramilitaries Damir Bogdanovic, Djordje Sevic, Zoran Djurdjevic, Zoran Alic, Tomislav Gavric and Dragana Djekic of killing the 28 civilians, raping and torturing three women and destroying a mosque during the war.