Prosecutor v. Simić

Case Name: 
Prosecutor v. Simić
IT-95-9-A (Appeals Chamber Judgement)
Decision Date: 
November 28, 2006
Key Facts: 

Appellant served as President of the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac Crisis Staff, which the Trial Chamber found operated a common plan to commit acts of persecution against non-Serbs. The Trial Chamber, having established his participation in a joint criminal enterprise, did not consider whether he was also responsible as an aider and abettor. The Appeals Chamber found Appellant responsible as an aider and abettor of persecutions through the unlawful arrests and detention of non-Serb civilians; confinement under inhumane conditions; forced labor; and forcible displacements of non-Serb civilians (¶ 189). Among other indicators, Appellants’ denial of detainee medical care, responsibility for administering the labor program, and presence at the locations of forced labor all constituted forms of assistance.


1. Acts “directed to assist, encourage or lend moral support to the perpetration of a certain specific crime” with a “substantial effect upon the perpetration of the crime” (¶ 85)

2. “[K]nowledge that the acts performed by the aider and abettor assist in the commission of the specific crime of the principal perpetrator” (¶ 86)

Key Passages : 

ACTUS REUS: “It is not required that a cause-effect relationship between the conduct of the aider and abettor and the commission of the crime be shown, or that such conduct served as a condition precedent to the commission of the crime” (¶ 85). In this case, Appellant being informed of and having a strong influence over the unlawful acts (¶ 114) amounted to positive assistance (¶ 114).

MENS REA: “In relation to the crime of persecutions, an offence with a specific intent, he must thus be aware not only of the crime whose perpetration he is facilitating but also of the discriminatory intent of the perpetrators of that crime. He need not share the intent but he must be aware of the discriminatory context in which the crime is to be committed and know that his support or encouragement has a substantial effect on its perpetration. However, it is not necessary that the aider and abettor knows either the precise crime that was intended or the one that was, in the event, committed” (¶ 86).

Appeals Chamber