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Case name

Ćuška, Ljubenić, Pavljan and Zahač

Case number

КTRZ 4/10

Number of victims


Persons indicted


Rank(s) of person(s) indicted

Medium military (AA);
Lower military (all others)

Indictment date

Case stage

first-instance judgment entirely abolished; new trial under way before the War Crimes Department - part of the Higher Court in Belgrade

Duration of proceedings since trial commencement

In progress

Witnesses examined


Date and outcome of the first instance verdict

Years in prison:
AA, AO, AĆ: 20
ALJJ: 15
AŽ: 12
AB: 10
AP: 5
AD, AĐ: 2
AK, AL: acquitted of charges
AE, AĐ, ANJ: charges withdrawn

According to the court findings, the intervention platoon, composed of volunteers and commonly referred to as the Jackals, was part of the regular military force; hence, this was the first judgment before the War Crimes Department whereby members of the Yugoslav Army were convicted of the expulsion and mass killing of Kosovo Albanians.

Date and outcome of decision on appeal

Appellate Court's decision:
The Appellate Court in Belgrade - War Crimes Department abolished the first-instance judgment in the Ćuška case and ordered a new trial.

Date and outcome of verdict in new trial


Criminal offence

war crime against civilian population under art. 142 re art. 22 (co-perpetration) of the FRY Criminal Act

Background facts

Background facts:
According to the indictment allegations, in the course of April and May 1999, fourteen former members of the Yugoslav Army’s 177th Military-Territorial Detachment (known as the Jackals) engaged in massacres against Kosovo Albanians in villages Ćuška, Zahač, Pavljan and Ljubenić.
The accused were involved in the killing and rape of civilians, as well as in the destruction and plundering of their property. Most survivors left their homes and fled to Albania. The Jackals' commander Nebojša Minić, also known as “Dead“, deceased in Argentina in 2005.

Procedural remarks

Procedural remarks:
Key evidence in this case was provided by two former members of the Jackals. The Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor investigated the case in close cooperation with the EU Rule of Law Mission to Kosovo (EULEX).