The Dan Saxon Collection

Introduction to the Dan Saxon Collection

The Dan Saxon Collection contains legal and judicial records from the trial of General Momčilo Perišić at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).  The collection includes core documents such as prosecution and defense exhibits, trial transcripts, and legal briefs.

From 1993 to 1998, during and after the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, Perišić served as the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (VJ). In that position Perišić – the most senior officer in the VJ – directed and coordinated assistance in personnel, material, and other forms of support provided by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) (later to be called the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro) to the armies of Republika Srpska (VRS) and Republika Srpska Krajina (SVK).  Given his essential role in the provision of this assistance, the Prosecution alleged that Perišić bore criminal responsibility for aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the VRS and the SVK.

Nonetheless, the purpose of this collection is not to demonstrate Perišić’s individual criminal responsibility for these crimes. Instead, the documents, videos and photos provide a “road map” illustrating the development of policies and plans at the highest levels of the governments of the FRY and Serbia and Montenegro to assist the VRS and SVK in their military objectives, and the execution of these decisions by Perišić and his subordinates.  For additional legal and historical context, researchers should review this collection together with the Perišić trial and appeal judgments as well as the judgment of the International Court of Justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina v Serbia and Montenegro. The latter judgment also describes the reliance of Bosnian Serb forces on military and financial support from the FRY/Serbia and Montenegro.

It is recommended that after reading this Introduction, in the “Collection Contents” section, the reader proceeds to the“Perišić Case Information Sheet” which contains a chronology of the criminal proceedings as well as summaries of the Indictment, Trial Judgment and Appeal Judgment.  Next, the “Organogram” indicates the important individuals who contributed to the FRY’s/Serbia and Montenegro’s system of military assistance to the VRS/SVK as well as VJ officers who participated in this system while serving in the VRS/SVK.  Finally, the “Archive Navigation Map" contains a detailed organizational structure of the collection that indicates to the user where s/he may find a particular category of documentary material.

To facilitate searches for particular topics, individuals and/or kinds of material, collection users should consult the “List of Subjects.”  The names, words and phrases contained therein can serve as “search terms” to quickly locate relevant documents.

For those unfamiliar with law terminology, a word about exhibit format and legal terms.  Most exhibits will start with the letter “P” or “D.” “P” indicates that it is a prosecution exhibit.  “D” indicates that the material was introduced by the defence.   For example, “P0029” or “D0150.”  With respect to witness transcripts, citations to particular page numbers appear like this:  ‘T.2465” or “T.2465-2466.”  You may see references to a “brief.”  Usually, a brief is a document submitted by either the Prosecution or the Defense summarizing the law, facts, and legal arguments for a particular case.  A “Trial Judgment” refers to a final decision concerning an accused’s guilt or innocence at the trial level.  An “Appeal Judgment” refers to the decision of a group of appellate judges regarding arguments presented by one or both parties alleging factual or legal errors in the Trial Judgment.

This collection does not contain all of the exhibits submitted as evidence in the Perišić trial. Archival material drawn from the Unified Court Records, part of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), is included because, as a whole, it demonstrates the development and operation of a military assistance program that enabled the VRS and SVK to continue to fight and commit gross violations of international law. The selected materials were chosen for their ability to illustrate the structure and scale of this military assistance program.

Order of the Collection

It is suggested that, for research and educational narrative purposes, the collection be approached in the following order:

I. Introduction to the Collection and Trial

A. The Dan Saxon Collection Navigation Map

B. The Perisic Trial Leadership and Institutions Organogram

C. The Perisic Trial Indictment

D. The Perisic Trial Judgment

E. The Perisic Trial Final Briefs

II. Audio-Visual Exhibits

III. Prosecution Trial Exhibits

IV. Defense Trial Exhibits

The collection is currently under construction. Please check back soon for access links!