skip navigation

The Prosecutor v. Predrag Banović

Court International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Trial Chamber III, The Netherlands
Case number IT-02-65/1-S
Decision title Sentencing Judgment
Decision date 28 October 2003
  • The Prosecutor
  • Predrag Banović
Categories Crimes against humanity
Keywords crimes against humanity, persecution, guilty plea, Sentence, Prijedor
back to top


In April 1992, the Serb forces gained control over the municipality of Prijedor in Bosnia and Herzegovina, capturing non-Serb men, women and children. The captured non-Serbs were taken to detention camps, such as the Keraterm factory outside the town of Prijedor (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The detainees were subjected to beatings, mistreatments and inhumane conditions. Between June and August 1992, Predrag Banović was a guard at the Keraterm camp. On 26 June 2003, Banović pleaded guilty to the crime against humanity of persecutions, and Trial Chamber III found him guilty accordingly.

In order to determine the appropriate sentence for Banović, the Trial Chamber balanced the gravity of the crime with the aggravating and mitigating circumstances. The Trial Chamber held that the crimes committed by Banović were of utmost gravity. Banović’s position of superiority over the detainees, the vulnerability of the victims, and the context in which the crimes were committed, were considered by the Trial Chamber as reflecting the gravity of the offence.

Furthermore, the Trial Chamber considered that Banović abused his authority over the detainees, which constituted an aggravating factor. Relevant mitigating factors were Banović’s guilty plea, his expression of remorse, and his personal circumstances.

The Trial Chamber sentenced Banović to 8 years of imprisonment.

back to top

Procedural history

The consolidated indictment against Predrag Banović was filed on 5 July 2002. On 18 June 2003, the Prosecution and the Defense of Predrag Banović filed a confidential joint motion for consideration of a plea agreement which introduced a plea agreement between the parties dated 5 June 2003 (para. 9 of the judgment). 

On 26 June 2003, Predrag Banović pleaded guilty to the crime against humanity of persecutions, punishable under Article 5(h) and Article 7(1) of the ICTY Statute. Subsequently, the Trial Chamber entered a finding of guilt. See also ICTY Press Release: Predrag Banović Pleads Guilty to One Count of Persecutions as a Crime Against Humanity, 26 June 2003. 

The Sentencing Hearing was held on 3 September 2003.

back to top

Related developments

On 28 July 2004, Predrag Banović was transferred to France to serve his sentence.

On 3 September 2008, Predrag Banović was granted early release. 

back to top

Legally relevant facts

On 30 April 1992, the Serb forces took over control of the Municipal Government of Prijedor (Bosnia and Herzegovina) through carrying out a series of attacks on villages and areas populated by non-Serbs. The attacks resulted in the displacement and capture of non-Serbs, who were brought to three detention camps in the surrounding area. One of these camps was located in the Keraterm factory, outside the town of Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina (para. 21). 

The detainees of these camps were subjected to beatings, ill-treatments, brutal and inhumane conditions during their confinement, humiliations, harassments and physical abuses. As a result, many of the detainees lost their lives (paras. 24-27).

Predrag Banović was a guard at the Keraterm camp between June and August 1992 and took active part in the commission of crimes against the detainees (para. 23).

Pursuant to Predrag Banović’s guilty plea to the crime against humanity of persecutions, Trial Chamber III found him liable on 26 June 2003 (para. 13).

back to top

Core legal questions

  • Considering the gravity of the crime, the aggravating and mitigating circumstances, what is the appropriate sentence for Predrag Banović?

back to top

Specific legal rules and provisions

  • Article 24 of the ICTY Statute.
  • Rules 100 and 101 of the ICTY Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

back to top

Court's holding and analysis

The Trial Chamber accepted that “these [criminal acts of Banović] considered either separately or in combination, and examined in their context, are of the utmost gravity” (para. 42). Accordingly, “[t]he direct participation of Predrag Banović in the perpetration of these crimes, as well as his presence when others committed the crimes, with his knowledge, are factors that the Trial Chamber has considered in determining [his] sentence” (para. 43). Furthermore, the Trial Chamber accepted that “the position of inferiority and the vulnerability of the victims as well as the context in which the offences were committed are relevant factors in assessing the gravity of the offence” (para. 50).

Turning to the aggravating factors, the Trial Chamber held that “the Accused abused his position of authority over the detainees while on duty, mistreating and beating them in total disregard for human life and dignity” (para. 55).

Addressing the mitigating circumstances, the Trial Chamber accorded relevance to Banović’s guilty plea (paras. 66 et seq.), his sincere expression of remorse (paras. 70 et seq.), and, to a limited extent, his personal circumstances (paras. 73 et seq.).

Predrag Banović was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment (para. 96).

back to top

Instruments cited

back to top

Additional materials