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The Hague, 26 June 2000
Dusko Sikirica detained by SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) welcomes the detention of Dusko Sikirica by elements of SFOR on 25 June 2000.
A time and date for Sikirica’s initial appearance, at which he will enter a plea to the charges against him, will be set in due course.
BACKGROUND ON THE ACCUSED AND THE INDICTMENT
According to the indictment, dated 21 July 1998, Dusko Sikirica was born on 23 March 1964 in Čirkin Polje, in the municipality of Prijedor (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and is charged on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility as well as superior criminal responsibility with three counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity, four counts of violations of the customs of war and four counts of grave breaches of the Geneva Convention for his alleged role as commander of the Keraterm detention camp in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina where he was in a position of superior authority to everyone else in the camp.
The indictment states that "[f]rom about 24 May to about 30 August 1992, Serb forces unlawfully seized and confined more than 3,000 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from the opština Prijedor, in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in inhumane conditions, under armed guard, in the Keraterm "camp", located in the former ceramics factory and storage area located just outside the town of Prijedor […] detainees at Keraterm camp were killed, sexually assaulted, tortured, beaten and otherwise subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment."
BACKGROUND ON THE CHARGES
The original indictment, confirmed on 21 July 1995, included 11 other accused. The charges against five accused were withdrawn and a revised indictment was filed on 21 July 1998 against Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen, Dragan Fustar, Nenad Banovic, Predrag Banovic, Dusan Knezevic, Zoran Zigic and Dragan Kolundzija.
Having voluntarily surrendered on 16 April 1998, Zoran Zigic was joined to the Kvocka & others case in an indictment dated 9 November 1998 and is currently standing trial in that case.
Following their detention by SFOR, on 7 June 1999 and 25 October 1999 respectively, Dragan Kolundzija and Damir Dosen are awaiting trial separately under an amended indictment dated 30 August 1999.
Following the detention of Sikirica, 41 accused are now in proceedings before the Tribunal (37 in custody in The Hague and four on provisional release).
Following the detention, the Prosecutor of the Tribunal, Carla Del Ponte said, "I welcome this latest arrest by NATO of a significant indictee of the Tribunal. I will seek to have Dusko Sikirica tried alongside Damir Dosen and Dragan Kolundzija, the two deputy commanders of the Keraterm camp, at the earliest possible date. I also urge all other persons remaining on the Keraterm indictment to surrender themselves immediately so that they too may join the same trial."
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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