REGISTRY
MILAN BABIC FOUND DEAD IN DETENTION UNIT Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 6 March 2006
AM/MOW/1046e

At 18:30 hours on Sunday 5 March, Milan Babic, a detained witness, was found dead in his cell at the United Nations Detention Unit in Scheveningen.

The Detention Unit Medical Officer confirmed Milan Babic’s death shortly after his body was found. The Dutch authorities were called immediately. After conducting an investigation, they confirmed that the cause of death was suicide.

Milan Babic’s family has been informed.

Pursuant to his authority under the Tribunal’s Statute and Rules of Detention, the Tribunal President, Judge Fausto Pocar, has ordered an internal inquiry.

Background

The Tribunal sentenced Milan Babic to 13 years imprisonment for crimes committed against non-Serb civilians in the self-proclaimed Serb political entity in eastern Croatia (the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina, which later became the Republic of Serbian Krajina).

After the Appeals Chamber confirmed Milan Babic’s sentence, he was transferred to serve his sentence abroad.

Milan Babic, who held a number of high-level political positions in the Croatian Serb entity including the presidency, pleaded guilty on 27 January 2004 to participating in a plan to forcibly and permanently remove the non-Serb population from this area. The crimes he admitted to include murder, deportation or forcible transfer, and unlawful imprisonment of non-Serb civilians, as well as the destruction of their property.

At the time of his death, Milan Babic was testifying in the case against Milan Martic, another former high-level official of the Croatian Serb political entity charged with crimes against non-Serb civilians. Milan Babic began his testimony on 15 February 2006. He had previously testified in the case against Slobodan Miloševic from 18 November until 9 December 2002.

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