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The Hague, 9 June 2006
LM/MOW/1086e


Dragan Zelenovic in Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

The authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina are working closely with the Tribunal to implement the expeditious transfer to the Tribunal of Dragan Zelenović, a former Bosnian Serb policeman and war crimes suspect who has been a fugitive from justice for almost ten years.

Authorities in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo yesterday advised the Tribunal that Zelenović had arrived in the country having been expelled from the Russian Federation.

Zelenović was arrested in the Russian Federation in August 2005 and reportedly charged with illegal entry after having reportedly been living there for several years. Earlier this year Zelenović was reported by the media to have been released on bail.

The Tribunal has over the past ten months consistently sought the transfer of Zelenović from the Russian Federation, making a number of requests to the authorities to transfer him into the custody of the Tribunal, in keeping with international obligations.

Zelenović was one of the sub-commanders of the Bosnian Serb military police and a paramilitary leader in Foča, a town and municipality in southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is alleged to have carried out the crimes, including the gang-raping of a 15 year-old girl, in the summer and fall of 1992.

According to the indictment, as soon as Serb forces took over the town of Foča in April 1992, military police, local soldiers and others began to arrest thousands of Muslim and Croat residents both from the town and its surrounding villages. They separated the men from the women, children and elderly and unlawfully confined them in various detention facilities such as Buk Bijela, Foča High School and Partizan Sports Hall. Groups of soldiers, mostly paramilitary, detained several women in houses and apartments that they used as brothels.

Dragan Zelenović was originally indicted on 26 June 1996 together with several others including Gojko Janković, Radovan Stanković, Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovač and Zoran Vuković, all members of the Bosnian Serb military police or paramilitary units. The Tribunal convicted Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovač and Zoran Vuković to 28, 20 and 12 years imprisonment, respectively, for crimes including raping, torturing and enslaving a number of Bosnian Muslim women and girls. The Tribunal transferred Janković and Stanković to Bosnia and Herzegovina to stand trial for these crimes before the War Crimes Chamber in Sarajevo.

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International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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