Ranko Češić

First of all, without any false sentiments, I wish to express my deep remorse for all the evil I have done. Words such as "remorse" are insufficient to express what somebody like me feels...I pleaded guilty to the counts of the indictment, and I did my best to help the Office of the Prosecutor and the Tribunal to bring to light a small part of the overall truth, the part that refers to my actions.

Ranko Češić, was a member of the Bosnian Serb Territorial Defence near Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina and a member of a special police team at the Brčko police station in 1992. One of his tasks was to arrest specific non-Serbs and bring them to the police station or to the Luka Detention Camp for interrogation where he beat, humiliated, and murdered detainees. In total he admitted killing 10 individuals, two of whom died as a result of beatings and eight other were shot dead. He substantially cooperated with the Prosecution and agreed to testify in other proceedings before the Tribunal. Češić was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment.

Read Guilty Plea Statement

27 November 2003 (extract from transcript of hearing)

Thank you, Your Honours. First of all, without any false sentiments, I wish to express my deep remorse for all the evil I have done. Words such as 'remorse' are insufficient to express what somebody like me feels. Looking back in time after so much time has elapsed since I committed those crimes, there is an enormous difference between my state of mind now and then. Now I would never do the things I did then, the things that took place in a time of euphoria, a time when all human dignity was abolished.

Before the trial, I pleaded guilty to the counts of the indictment, and I did my best to help the Office of the Prosecutor and the Tribunal to bring to light a small part of the overall truth, the part that refers to my actions. Your Honours, I will do anything to bring back the past and not to do what I have done. Since this is not possible, all that is left for me is to feel the deepest remorse for what I have done.

To this I would like to add that I did not want to bring my friends and relatives here to say nice things about me because I didn't want to increase the pain of the victims and their families, out of respect for the deceased. I hope that my sincere remorse, which I feel deeply, will help to prevent similar things from happening in the future, and I wish to say that any people that experiences war is unfortunate, and people who live through this and families who have suffered pain feel this deeply.

I want to say that I hope nobody will ever do the things that I have done and that prison is not the only punishment for me, because it is even harder to go on living with this feeling of guilt. Thank you, Your Honours, for giving me leave to speak.

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