Prosecutor v. Popovic et al.

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Popovic et al.
IT-05-88-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
January 30, 2015
Key Facts: 

The Trial Chamber found the Accused to be part of a joint criminal enterprise to murder and forcibly remove the Bosnian Muslim populations in Srebrenica. Among other convictions, the Trial Chamber convicted Nikolić and Pandurević of aiding and abetting but acquitted Pandurević of the aiding and abetting charges. The Appeals Chamber, by majority, reversed in part Pandurević’s acquittal for aiding and abetting and also entered new convictions against him.


1. “[P]ractical assistance, encouragement, or moral support which has a substantial effect on the perpetration of the crime” (¶ 1732)

2. “knowledge that these acts assist the commission of the offense” (¶ 1732)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: With regards to failure to discharge a legal duty: “[I]t must be demonstrated that there were means available to the accused to fulfill this duty. The Appeals Chamber also recalls that there is no requirement of a cause-effect relationship between the conduct of the aider and abettor and the commission of the crime or that such conduct served as a condition precedent to the commission of the crime” (¶ 1740). “Finally, it is recalled that whether an act or omission had a substantial effect on the commission of a crime is a fact-based inquiry, and further, this aspect of aiding and abetting by omission has been interpreted to mean that had the accused acted the commission of the crime would have been substantially less likely” (¶ 1741).

MENS REA: “While the aider and abettor need not share the intent of the principal perpetrator, he must be aware of such intent. He must also be aware of the essential elements of the crime which was ultimately committed. The mens rea of an aider and abettor can be established even if he is uncertain which of a number of crimes will ultimately be committed” (¶ 1794).

Appeals Chamber