1 Monday, 17 January 2005
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.31 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. For the sake
7 of the record, could we have the appearances, please.
8 For the Prosecution.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
10 Peter McCloskey for the Prosecutor, along with Stefan Waespi, Antoinette
11 Issa, Milbert Shin, Anne Davis, and Salvador Viada, and Janet Stewart.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And for the accused.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
14 Michael Karnavas, Suzana Tomanovic, and Aleksandar Momirov for Mr.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
18 We are here today in the following composition: Miodrag Stojanovic as
19 the lead counsel of Mr. Jokic, assisted by co-counsel Branko Lukic, and
20 our case manager, Mr. Dragoslav Djukic.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 Mr. Blagojevic, can you hear the proceedings in a language you
24 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Microphone not activated]
25 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, please.
1 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I have indicated, Your
2 Honour, that, yes, I can follow the proceedings in the Serbian language.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 Very much. You may sit down, please.
5 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] May I avail myself of
6 this opportunity to add one more sentence, please?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
8 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just for
9 the record, I wish to indicate I do not have a Defence. That has been a
10 problem since before the beginning of the trial. Thank you for
12 JUDGE LIU: You may sit down, please.
13 Mr. Jokic, can you hear the proceedings in a language that you
15 THE ACCUSED JOKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
17 If there are any problems following the proceedings, you may
18 raise it at any time. Please sit down.
19 What follows is a summary of the written judgement and forms no
20 part of it. The written judgement will be made available to the parties
21 and to the public at the end of this hearing.
22 Trial Chamber I is sitting today to render our judgement in the
23 case of Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic. Both men
24 are charged for crimes against Bosnian Muslims following the fall of
25 Srebrenica enclave in July 1995.
1 The horrible crimes committed following the fall of Srebrenica
2 are well-known. The mass-murder of more than 7.000 Bosnian Muslim men
3 and boys and the forcible transfer of the Bosnian Muslim women, children,
4 elderly from this part of Eastern Bosnia, these crimes were committed in
5 little more than one week with the level of brutality and the depravity
6 not previously seen in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and are
7 among the darkest days in modern European history.
8 At the outset, the Trial Chamber emphasises that while the crimes
9 committed in and around Srebrenica in July 1995 form the basis for this
10 case, this case and this trial is ultimately about two men, Vidoje
11 Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic, and their alleged individual criminal
13 The Trial Chamber will therefore first list the charges brought
14 against the accused and provide a brief overview of the procedural
15 history of the case. It will then provide a summary of the factual
16 allegations that underpin the crimes charged in this case. Next, it will
17 examine the specific crimes and the criminal responsibility, if any, for
18 each accused. Finally, it will render its verdict.
19 In July 1995, Vidoje Blagojevic was the commander of the Bratunac
20 Brigade and held the rank of colonel. It is alleged that by virtue of
21 his position as commander of the Bratunac Brigade, Colonel Blagojevic
22 participated in the forcible transfer of women and children from the
23 Srebrenica enclave to Kladanj on the 12th and 13th July; and that he was
24 responsible for all the prisoners captured, detained, or killed within
25 the Bratunac Brigade zone of responsibility, including those prisoners
1 that were subsequently transported with his knowledge to the Zvornik
2 Brigade zone for further detention and execution.
3 Vidoje Blagojevic is charged with six counts under both Article
4 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal, namely: complicity to
5 commit genocide; extermination as a crimes against humanity; murder as a
6 crimes against humanity and as a violation of the laws and customs of
7 war; persecution, a crime against humanity; and finally inhuman acts
8 (forcible transfer), a crime against humanity.
9 In July 1995, Dragan Jokic was the chief of engineering of the
10 Zvornik Brigade and held the rank of major. Furthermore, from the
11 morning of 14th July to the morning of 15th July, Dragan Jokic served as
12 duty officer of the Zvornik Brigade. Major Jokic, as chief of
13 engineering of the Zvornik Brigade, is accused of having assisted in the
14 planning, monitoring, organising, and carrying out the burials involved
15 in the murder operation and as having, as brigade duty officer, assisted
16 in coordinating communication between officers of the army of the
17 Republic of Srpska or the VRS and the commands, involving the
18 transportation, detention, execution, and the burial of Bosnian Muslims
19 from Srebrenica and issued or transmitted reports or updates to superiors
20 on the progress of the overall murder operation.
21 Accordingly, Dragan Jokic is charged with four counts under
22 Article 7(1) of the Statute, namely: extermination as a crimes against
23 humanity; murder as a crimes against humanity and as a violation of the
24 laws or customs of war, punishable under Article 3 of the Statute; and
25 with persecutions as a crime against humanity.
1 Vidoje Blagojevic was first indicted on the 30th October, 1998.
2 Following an amendment to his indictment in 1999, the case against him
3 was joined in January 2002 with two other accused also charged with the
4 crimes following the fall of Srebrenica, including Dragan Jokic, who had
5 been indicted on the 30th of May, 2001. In May 2002 a fourth accused,
6 Momir Nikolic, was joined to this case. Momir Nikolic and Dragan
7 Obrenovic were subsequently separated from these proceedings following
8 their guilty pleas.
9 The trial commenced on the 14th May, 2003, and closed on the 1st
10 October 2004. During this period, the Trial Chamber heard 104 witnesses
11 and admitted the testimony of another 57 witnesses pursuant to Rule 92
12 bis. Evidence provided by more than 15 experts from fields including
13 demographics, military affairs, and forensic pathology was admitted in
14 the form of reports and testimony. More than 1.000 exhibits were
15 admitted during the trial.
16 Following the conclusion of the trial proceedings, the Trial
17 Chamber and the parties conducted a site visit in Srebrenica, Bratunac,
18 and the Zvornik municipality to assist the Trial Chamber in assessing the
19 evidence admitted in the case.
20 And now I would like to turn to Judge Vassylenko.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. The facts. The Trial Chamber will
22 now provide a summary of the crimes committed in relation to the Bosnian
23 Muslim population in Potocari and will then address the crimes committed
24 against the Bosnian Muslim men.
25 Following the attack on the Srebrenica enclave, 20.000 to 30.000
1 Bosnian Muslims fled to Potocari, a village located at the north-eastern
2 part of the enclave where the Dutch Battalion of the United Nations
3 Protection Forces had its headquarters. DutchBat was unable to cope with
4 the massive influx of refugees. It didn't have adequate supplies of
5 food, water, or medicine for the refugees, which was due in large part to
6 the blockade of supplies into the enclave and to the Dutch Battalion in
7 the months preceding the attack. Negotiations between General Ratko
8 Mladic, commander of the VRS, and DutchBat on the night of 11 July
9 resulted in the decision to bus the Bosnian Muslim population out of
10 Potocari to non-Serb held territory.
11 On 12 and 13 July, members of the VRS, members of police units
12 from the Ministry of Interior or MUP and members of the civilian
13 authorities of Bratunac were present in Potocari as well as members of
14 the Dutch Battalion. Among the VRS forces were some members of the
15 Bratunac Brigade military police, members of the Bratunac Brigade
16 command, and at least members of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bratunac Brigade
17 infantry battalions.
18 The Trial Chamber finds that the Bosnian Muslim population in
19 Potocari were subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment in Potocari. Some
20 of the Bosnian Muslims in Potocari were subjected to beatings which
21 caused severe pain and suffering. They didn't have sufficient space,
22 food, or water and were subjected to extreme forms of degradation. Men
23 were separated from their family members, thus creating great anxiety
24 among the population about the fate of the men.
25 Muniba Mujic tried to following her brother as he was taken away
1 by VRS soldiers. She testified about the conversation she had with a
2 soldier at the time:
3 "So I said: 'Can I please take my bag to my brother?' And he
4 said 'No, you won't.' Don't take that bag, they won't need it. Because
5 Nenad had told me that they would not need that anymore.' That seemed
6 very suspicious to me. I found it very hard and I started to cry and I
7 went past him. His things were left behind, I just wanted to get to my
8 brother. I didn't care about the things, so I went past him."
9 The Trial Chamber further finds that an atmosphere of terror was
10 created in Potocari: Armed members of the VRS were present and walked
11 among the Bosnian Muslims refugees, taking people at will for beatings
12 and other forms of serious abuse. Furthermore, documents were taken from
13 the men, which sent a message among the Bosnian Muslim population, that
14 the men may not need their documents anymore because their fate --
15 death -- had been decided.
16 The Trial Chamber finds that members of the Bosnian Muslim
17 population were murdered in Potocari. While there is a little evidence
18 to establish that there was an organised plan to murder Bosnian Muslims
19 in Potocari in the environment where beatings, severe abuse, and
20 intimidation were not only tolerated but seemingly encouraged, it was
21 foreseeable that such murders would be committed.
22 Finally, the Trial Chamber further finds that Bosnian Muslim
23 women, children, and elderly were forcibly transferred from Potocari to
24 non-Serb held territory in Bosnia. While there is evidence that the
25 Bosnian Muslims boarded the buses voluntarily and expressed the desire to
1 leave Potocari, the Trial Chamber finds that in the context of the
2 situation as it existed in Potocari, this transfer cannot be described as
3 voluntary but must be viewed as coerced or forced. Due to the
4 humanitarian crisis that prevailed in Potocari, created by the Bosnian
5 Serb forces, including the Bratunac Brigade, and the atmosphere of terror
6 that reigned in Potocari particularly on the night of 12 July, the
7 Bosnian Muslim population, and indeed the DutchBat, faced no choice but
8 to move to another location where their safety, well-being, and indeed
9 survival could be ensured.
10 The majority of the Bosnian Muslim men in Srebrenica fled the
11 enclave on night of 10 July with the objective of breaking through to
12 non-Serb-held territory around Tuzla. Over the course of the following
13 days, more than 7.000 Bosnian Muslim men were captured, detained, and
14 transported to execution sites in the Bratunac and Zvornik
15 municipalities, where they were murdered.
16 The first stage of the operation against the Bosnian Muslim men
17 included their detention in the town of Bratunac on the night of 12 and
18 13 July. Colonel Blagojevic was present in Bratunac on both dates. Men
19 who were forcibly separated from their families in Potocari as well as
20 men who were captured during the search of the terrain were bussed to
21 Bratunac Town. The then were either detained on the buses or in
22 buildings in the Vuk Karadzic school complex. The small town of Bratunac
23 was thus filled with Bosnian Muslim men. The Bratunac military police
24 played a role in securing, or rather guarding the detainees, thereby
25 ensuring the continued control of the Bosnian Serb forces over these men.
1 The Trial Chamber finds that during their detention in Bratunac, the
2 Bosnian Muslim men were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment. They
3 were detained in humane conditions. They were not given food, water, or
4 medical treatment, and were detained in overcrowded spaces, often without
5 basic facilities. The men were subjected to random acts of violence:
6 Beatings, verbal abuse and threats to their well-being were continuous.
7 Shooting could be heard throughout the night, as could the occasional
8 scream of detainees taken outside of the school or off the bus and
10 The Bratunac Brigade military police were involved in guarding
11 the detainees, and in the case of the Vuk Karadzic school had a role in
12 controlling who entered and left the premises.
13 While most men captured from the column were brought to Bratunac
14 Town on 13 July, the Bosnian Muslim men captured and held in the Sandici
15 meadow were either forced to walk to or were bussed the short distance to
16 the Kravica warehouse, which is located on the main Bratunac-Konjevic
17 Polje road, in the Bratunac municipality. The nearly 1.000 men who were
18 detained in the Kravica warehouse were murdered on the night of 13 July,
19 as Bosnian Serb forces fired automatic weapons directly into the
20 warehouse. Once the majority of the men were killed, the Bosnian Serb
21 forces called out the survivors and summarily executed them outside the
22 warehouse in plain view of the road.
23 On the morning of 14 July, a convoy of approximately 30 buses
24 filled with Bosnian Muslim men left Bratunac for Zvornik. Members of the
25 Bratunac Brigade served as an escort for this convoy. The Bosnian Muslim
1 men were taken to various temporary detention centres in Zvornik
2 municipality, including Grbavci school, the Petkovci school, and the
3 Pilica school. Between 14 and 16 July, the men were blindfolded, put on
4 buses, and taken to nearby fields where group and group of helpless
5 terrified Bosnian Muslim men were executed. The fields of Orahovac, the
6 Petkovici Dam and the Branjo military farm were literally killing fields,
7 filled with bodies of Bosnian Muslim men.
8 Witness P111, a Bosnian Muslim man who was 17 years old at the
9 time the crimes were committed, described the desperate atmosphere at
10 Petkovici Dam among the men brought to be executed:
11 "Many people were screaming 'Give us water and then kill us.' We
12 were really so thirsty we just couldn't take it anymore, even if we were
13 going to be killed within moments of that. We were playing for time. We
14 were just living for another extra few seconds. As others were killing,
15 as others were being killed, I was praying that I be killed too, because
16 I was in terrible pain. But I dared not call out to them. So I just
17 thought that my mother would never know where I was, as I was thinking
18 that I'd like to die."
19 The Pilica Cultural Centre was filled to capacity with
20 approximately 500 Bosnian Muslim men. This detention facility turned
21 into execution site on 16 July. As men cowered in the corner seeking
22 protection or were forced to stand on the stage of the cultural centre,
23 VRS soldiers fired automatic weapons and threw grenades into the
24 building. There are no known survivors of this mass execution.
25 Loaders and excavators were either already on the sites at the time of
1 the executions, or arrived soon thereafter to bury the dead in mass
2 graves. The Zvornik Engineering Company often provided both the
3 machinery and the operators for the burial operation.
4 JUDGE ARGIBAY: The Trial Chamber finds that the facts, as
5 briefly described herein, establish that the crimes of genocide,
6 extermination, murder, persecution through murder, cruel and inhumane
7 treatment (terrorising the civilian population and forcible transfer),
8 and inhumane acts (forcible transfer) were committed in July 1995
9 following the fall of the Srebrenica enclave. The Trial Chamber will not
10 repeat its findings on the law in detail here, but will highlight certain
12 In relation to crime of genocide, the Trial Chamber finds that
13 the acts through which genocide were committed were killing members of
14 the group and causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the
15 group. The group is defined as the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica.
16 The Trial Chamber finds that serious bodily or mental harm was
17 inflicted on members of the Bosnian Muslim group through various means
18 including: by forcing the displacement of the Bosnian Muslim population
19 from Srebrenica; by separating men from the rest of the population; by
20 terrorising the Bosnian Muslim population in Potocari; by subjecting
21 members of the group to serious mental abuse in Potocari and in detention
22 centres; and by causing severe trauma to those men who managed to survive
23 the executions.
24 The Trial Chamber further finds that in the circumstances of this
25 case, through the manner and means in which it was carried out, the
1 forcible transfer of the Bosnian Muslim population from the Srebrenica
2 enclave, in combination with the killings or on its own, caused serious
3 mental harm so as to be an act of genocide.
4 The Trial Chamber finds that the specific intent to destroy in
5 whole or in part the Bosnian Muslim group as such can be inferred from
6 the events which followed the Krivaja 95 military operation, which had as
7 its ultimate objective the elimination of the Srebrenica enclave, namely
8 the forced removal of the Bosnian Muslims out of the Srebrenica enclave;
9 the separation of male members of the Bosnian Muslim community in
10 Potocari; the forcible transfer of the Bosnian Muslim women, children,
11 and elderly from Serb-held territory; and ultimately the murder of more
12 than 7.000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
13 The Trial Chamber finds that the term "destroy" refers only to
14 the physical and biological destruction of the group. It does not
15 include cultural genocide. The Trial Chamber Trial Chamber further finds
16 that such destruction should not simply be equated with killing. While
17 killing large numbers of a group may be the most direct means of
18 destroying a group, other acts or series of acts can also lead to the
19 destruction of the group.
20 The Trial Chamber finds that depending on the circumstances and
21 manner in which a forcible transfer is carried out, it may lead to the
22 destruction of the protected group. In this case, the forcible transfer
23 was directed at the protected group, the Bosnian Muslims of Srebrenica.
24 It was preceded by the separation of the community by gender. The Trial
25 Chamber finds the separation of the Bosnian Muslim men from the rest of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the Bosnian Muslim group to be a critical piece of evidence in
2 establishing that the Bosnian Serbs who organised and implemented the
3 transfer did not want the Bosnian Muslim group to ever reconstitute
4 itself as a group in Srebrenica or elsewhere, and therefore they intended
5 to physically destroy the group.
6 In relation to the displacement of the Bosnian Muslim population
7 from the Srebrenica enclave, the Trial Chamber finds that the Bosnian
8 Muslim population was forcibly transferred from the area in which they
9 were lawfully present for reasons other than those recognised under
10 international law, namely the security of the population or imperative
11 military necessity.
12 The Trial Chamber finds that the transfer was "forcible" because
13 the Bosnian Muslim population did not have a free or genuine choice to
14 remain in the Srebrenica enclave, including in the area around the Dutch
15 Battalion headquarters in Potocari. This lack of genuine choice was a
16 result of the actions and behaviour of the officers and soldiers of the
17 VRS towards the refugees, including the commission of serious crimes by
18 members of the Bosnian Serb forces in Potocari; the organised, inhumane,
19 and frequently aggressive process of separating out and removing the male
20 members of the population; and the conditions and atmosphere of terror
21 that were created in Potocari. Furthermore, the Trial Chamber finds that
22 the Bosnian Serb forces who organised and implemented the transfer of the
23 Bosnian Muslim population did not intend that the displacement of the
24 population was a temporary measure.
25 At this juncture, the Trial Chamber recalls that the purpose of a
1 trial is not just to determine whether serious violations of
2 international humanitarian law were committed in a certain area, but
3 ultimately to determine who bears individual criminal responsibility for
4 those crimes. The Trial Chamber has assessed the individual criminal
5 responsibility of Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic in the context of
6 all the events which followed the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995.
7 While recognising that there was a functional chain for the
8 security organ also operating in July 1995, the Trial Chamber finds that
9 Colonel Blagojevic, as commander of the Bratunac Brigade, was in command
10 and had control over the forces and resources of the Bratunac Brigade in
11 July 1995. Liability may therefore be attached to Colonel Blagojevic
12 when it has been found that he knew about the commission of a crime and
13 that he permitted the use of personnel or resources to facilitate the
14 commission of this crime.
15 Dragan Jokic served as duty officer at the Zvornik Brigade from
16 the morning of 14 July to the morning of 15 July. Furthermore, he served
17 as chief of engineering of the Zvornik Brigade. The Trial Chamber will
18 assess whether through actions he took in fulfilling these two functions
19 he entails criminal liability for the crimes committed.
20 Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic are both charged with
21 individual criminal responsibility for participation in a joint criminal
22 enterprise. The Trial Chamber, for reasons that are discussed in detail
23 in the judgement, does not find that the elements that must be
24 established to find individual criminal responsibility pursuant to a
25 joint criminal enterprise are all met in the present case. Moreover, the
1 Trial Chamber finds that the mode of liability that more accurately
2 reflects the criminal conduct of both the accused on the basis of their
3 criminal intent is aiding and abetting the commission of the crimes.
4 The Trial Chamber will now assess the liability of Vidoje
5 Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic for aiding and abetting the crimes
7 The Trial Chamber finds that there are acts committed by Colonel
8 Blagojevic or members of the Bratunac Brigade which provided practical
9 assistance to the murder operation that resulted in the deaths of more
10 than 7.000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. These acts include the
11 separation of the men from the rest of the Bosnian Muslim population in
12 Potocari; the guarding of Bosnian Muslim men in the town of Bratunac from
13 12 to 14 July; the participation of the Bratunac Brigade battalions, and
14 indeed Colonel Blagojevic himself, in the search operation.
15 The Trial Chamber further finds, however, that there is
16 insufficient evidence to establish that Colonel had knowledge that these
17 acts assisted in the commission of the crime of murder in relation to the
18 mass executions. Accordingly, Colonel Blagojevic's responsibility for
19 aiding and abetting murder in relation to the mass executions has not
20 been established.
21 The Trial Chamber finds that there are acts committed by members
22 of the Bratunac Brigade which provided practical assistance to the
23 murders committed in Bratunac Town. The Trial Chamber finds that Colonel
24 Blagojevic knew that members of the Bratunac Brigade gave practical
25 assistance to the murder of men in Bratunac town. And accordingly, the
1 Trial Chamber finds that Colonel Blagojevic aided and abetted the
2 commission of murder in Bratunac Town.
3 The Trial Chamber finds that Colonel Blagojevic did not have
4 knowledge that the crime of extermination was being committed at the
5 time, and therefore cannot incur any liability for acts which may have
6 been taken by himself or members of the Bratunac Brigade which assisted
7 the principals and had a substantial effect on the commission of
8 extermination. Accordingly, Colonel Blagojevic's liability for aiding
9 and abetting extermination had not been established and he is acquitted
10 of the charge of extermination in Count 2 of the indictment.
11 As for the crime of persecutions, the Trial Chamber finds that
12 Colonel Blagojevic knew about the discriminatory basis upon which the
13 underlying acts of murder, cruel and inhumane treatment, terrorising the
14 civilian population, and forcible transfer were committed. Murder has
15 been discussed above.
16 The Trial Chamber finds that members of the Bratunac Brigade
17 rendered practical assistance which had a substantial effect on the
18 commission of persecution through cruel and inhumane treatment and
19 terrorising the civilian population. The Trial Chamber finds that
20 Colonel Blagojevic had knowledge of the participation of members of the
21 Bratunac Brigade in these acts and further knew that these acts assisted
22 in the crime of persecution through terrorising the civilian population
23 and cruel and inhumane treatment.
24 Finally, the Trial Chamber finds that members of the Bratunac
25 Brigade, including members of the military police and members of the
1 battalions which secured the Potocari area, rendered practical assistance
2 to the forcible transfer of the Bosnian Muslim population out of the
3 Srebrenica area. Through their participation in separating the
4 population, loading and escorting the buses, and patrolling the area
5 around which the population was held until the transfer was complete, the
6 contribution made to it by members of the Bratunac Brigade had a
7 substantial effect on the commission of the crime.
8 The Trial Chamber further finds that Colonel Blagojevic knew of
9 the assistance rendered by members of his brigade and that the acts
10 undertaken by them assisted in the commission of forcible transfer.
11 Colonel Blagojevic, as a commander involved in the Krivaja 95 operation,
12 knew the objective and result of that operation: The elimination of the
13 Srebrenica enclave. This objective necessarily entailed removing the
14 Bosnian Muslim population from that area.
15 Over the course of 12 to 14 July, Colonel Blagojevic through his
16 presence at the forward command post in Srebrenica town and in Bratunac
17 would have seen for himself the manifestation of that objective as
18 busload after busload of Bosnian Muslim women, children, and elderly,
19 travelled from Potocari to Kladanj through Bratunac, and then the
20 temporary detention of the Bosnian Muslim men in Bratunac pending their
21 transfer out of the area. Colonel Blagojevic knew that the forcible
22 transfer was carried out on discriminatory grounds, as the objective of
23 the forcible transfer was to remove the Bosnian Muslims from that part of
24 Bosnia. Accordingly, the Trial Chamber finds that Colonel Blagojevic is
25 liable for aiding and abetting persecutions through the underlying acts
1 of murder, cruel and inhumane treatment, terrorising the civilian
2 population, and forcible transfer.
3 Having established that Colonel Blagojevic bears criminal
4 responsibility for aiding and abetting persecutions through forcible
5 transfer, the Trial Chamber finds that Colonel Blagojevic aided and
6 abetted the crime of inhumane acts (forcible transfer).
7 In order to assess Colonel Blagojevic's liability for complicity
8 in genocide, it must determine first whether he rendered acts of
9 practical assistance that had a substantial effect on the commission of
10 the killings and serious bodily or mental harm that underlie the crime of
11 genocide. If this finding is in the affirmative, the Trial Chamber will
12 first determine whether Colonel Blagojevic had knowledge that his acts
13 assisted in the commission of these underlying acts. Then the Trial
14 Chamber will assess whether Colonel Blagojevic knew of the principal
15 perpetrators' specific intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslim group in
16 whole or in part.
17 Based on its findings in relation to murder, persecution and
18 other inhumane acts (forcible transfer), the Trial Chamber further finds
19 that Colonel Blagojevic knew that by allowing the resources of the
20 Bratunac Brigade to be used he was making a substantial contribution to
21 the killing of Bosnian Muslim men and to the infliction of serious bodily
22 or mental harm on the Bosnian Muslim population.
23 The Trial Chamber finds that Colonel Blagojevic knew of the
24 principal perpetrators' intent to destroy in whole or in part the Bosnian
25 Muslim group as such. The Trial Chamber infers this knowledge from all
1 the circumstances that surrounded the takeover of the Srebrenica enclave
2 and the acts directed at the Bosnian Muslim population which followed.
3 Accordingly, the Trial Chamber finds that Colonel Blagojevic is guilty of
4 complicity in genocide by aiding and abetting genocide.
5 The Trial Chamber does not find that Colonel Blagojevic bears
6 responsibility under Article 7(3) for reasons set out in the judgement.
7 In relation to Dragan Jokic, the Trial Chamber has found that murder,
8 both as a violation of the laws or customs of war and as a crimes against
9 humanity has been established.
10 The Trial Chamber believes it has not been proven beyond a
11 reasonable doubt that Dragan Jokic had knowledge that he was sending
12 someone to Kravica warehouse to participate in any way in the burials
13 following the Kravica warehouse massacre. The Trial Chamber is convinced
14 that Dragan Jokic knew that Bosnian Muslim prisoners were detained at the
15 Grbavci school awaiting their execution when he told someone to go there.
16 The Trial Chamber therefore finds that Dragan Jokic knew that he was --
17 he sent that man to Orahovac in order specifically to dig mass graves for
18 the victims of the execution. By telling him to take the excavator to
19 Orahovac, Dragan Jokic provided practical assistance that had substantial
20 effect on the commission of the crime.
21 It has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt that Dragan
22 Jokic provided substantial assistance to the mass executions that were
23 subsequently committed at Petkovci school and dam. The Trial Chamber has
24 not found evidence that members of the Zvornik Brigade took part in this
1 The Trial Chamber finds that Dragan Jokic knew of the detention
2 of Bosnian Muslim prisoners at the Pilica school as early as 14 July.
3 Furthermore, the Trial Chamber finds beyond reasonable doubt that Jokic,
4 as chief of engineering, was informed of the 16th July request for heavy
5 machinery and was in contact with engineering company members in order to
6 effectuate the request. As a result of Dragan Jokic's actions, Zvornik
7 Brigade engineering resources and personnel were sent.
8 The Trial Chamber is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that
9 Dragan Jokic knew that these resources were sent in order to dig mass
11 The Trial Chamber finds Dragan Jokic provided practical
12 assistance that had a substantial effect on the commission of the crime
13 and the Trial Chamber is convinced that Dragan Jokic knew that the
14 Zvornik Brigade's engineering resources were to be used to dig mass
15 graves for executed victims in Kozluk.
16 The Trial Chamber finds that it has been established beyond a
17 reasonable doubt that Dragan Jokic aided and abetted the murders
18 committed at Orahovac, at Pilica/Branjevo Military Farm, and Kozluk.
19 The Trial Chamber has found that extermination was committed. The Trial
20 Chamber finds beyond a reasonable doubt that Dragan Jokic rendered
21 practical assistance which had a substantial effect on the commission of
22 the crime of extermination.
23 The Trial Chamber has been furnished with evidence that Dragan
24 Jokic knew about the detention of Bosnian Muslims at the Grbavci school
25 at Orahovac, at the Pilica school, and at Kozluk. Further, the fact that
1 Dragan Jokic sent Zvornik Brigade heavy digging equipment and personnel
2 to operate this equipment to dig mass graves where executions were either
3 ongoing or had just taken place proves beyond reasonable doubt that
4 Dragan Jokic knew that the murders were committed on a vast scale.
5 Under Count 5, persecutions, the Prosecution charged Dragan Jokic
6 with the four underlying acts of murder, cruel and inhumane treatment,
7 terrorising the civilian population, and destruction of property. The
8 Trial Chamber recalls its findings that for the underlying acts with
9 which Dragan Jokic have been charged -- the murder, the cruel and
10 inhumane treatment, and the terrorising of the Bosnian Muslim civilians
11 -- constituted part of the persecutorial campaign against the Bosnian
12 Muslim population.
13 The Trial Chamber finds that no evidence has been presented which
14 would enable it to conclude that Dragan Jokic rendered practical
15 assistance, encouragement, or moral support which had a substantial
16 effect on the cruel and inhumane treatment or the terrorising of the
17 civilian population. The Trial Chamber therefore concludes that Dragan
18 Jokic does not bear any liability for these underlying acts.
19 With regard to the underlying act of murder, the Trial Chamber
20 has found beyond reasonable doubt that Dragan Jokic aided and abetted the
21 commission of the murders committed at Orahovac, Pilica/Branjevo Military
22 Farm, and Kozluk. The evidence shows that from 14 July onwards, Dragan
23 Jokic knew that thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys were being
24 detained in the Zvornik Brigade area. The evidence further established
25 that Dragan Jokic knew that these men and boys were detained on
1 discriminatory grounds because they were Bosnian Muslim. The Trial
2 Chamber is therefore convinced that Dragan Jokic knew that the crimes
3 committed at Orahovac, Pilica/Branjevo Military Farm, and Kozluk were
4 committed by the principal perpetrators against the victims because they
5 were Bosnian Muslim. Consequently, the Trial Chamber finds that by his
6 actions as described previously, Dragan Jokic aided and abetted the crime
7 of persecutions committed through murder at Orahovac, Pilica/Branjevo
8 Military Farm, and Kozluk.
9 Over to you.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
11 The Trial Chamber has assessed the gravity of the offences for
12 which the accused have been convicted, including the individual
13 participation of each accused in the crimes.
14 In relation to Vidoje Blagojevic, the Trial Chamber finds that he
15 was not one of the major participants in the commission of the crimes.
16 The Trial Chamber has found that while commanders of the Main Staff and
17 the MUP played a key role in designing and executing the common plan to
18 kill thousands of Muslim men and to forcibly transfer over 30.000
19 Muslims, Vidoje Blagojevic's contribution to the commission of the crimes
20 was primarily through his substantial assistance to the forcible transfer
21 and due to his knowledge of the objective to eliminate the Bosnian
22 Muslims enclave of Srebrenica.
23 The Trial Chamber found that it has not been established that he
24 had knowledge of the execution while he rendered this assistance. The
25 Trial Chamber must consider, however, the practical assistance he
1 rendered had a substantial effect on the commission of the crime of
3 Dragan Jokic, like Vidoje Blagojevic, did not play a major role
4 in the commission of the crimes. In addition, the Trial Chamber has
5 found that he was not in a command position. He could not issue orders
6 on his own but conveyed the orders from superiors to the members of the
7 engineering company of the Zvornik Brigade. However, he subsequently
8 assisted it in the commission of the crimes by sending machinery of the
9 engineering company to the execution sites and members of the engineering
10 company to take part in the burial operation.
11 The Trial Chamber has considered the relevant aggravating and
12 mitigating circumstances in determining the sentence for each accused.
13 Now disposition.
14 Mr. Blagojevic, would you please stand up.
15 [The accused Blagojevic stands]
16 JUDGE LUI: For the foregoing reasons, the Trial Chamber finds:
17 The accused Vidoje Blagojevic is found not guilty and therefore acquitted
18 of the following count: Count 2: Extermination.
19 The accused Vidoje Blagojevic is found not guilty under Article
20 7(3) of the Statute, but guilty pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute
21 through aiding and abetting of the following counts: Count 1B:
22 Complicity to commit genocide; Count 3: Murder as a crimes against
23 humanity; Count 4: Murder, as a violation of the laws or customs of war;
24 Count 5: Persecutions, as a crime against humanity; and Count 6:
25 Inhumane acts (forcible transfer).
1 The Trial Chamber therefore sentences Vidoje Blagojevic to a
2 single sentence of imprisonment for 18 years.
3 You may sit down, Mr. Blagojevic.
4 [The accused Blagojevic sits down]
5 JUDGE LUI: Vidoje Blagojevic was arrested and taken into the
6 custody of the Tribunal on the 10th August, 2001, and has remained in
7 custody for 1.256 days. He is entitled to credit for that period towards
8 service of the sentence imposed, together with the period he will serve
9 in custody pending a determination by the President pursuant to Rule
10 103(A) as to the State where the sentence is to be served. He is to
11 remain in the custody until such determination is made.
12 Mr. Dragan Jokic, would you please stand up.
13 [The accused Jokic stands up].
14 JUDGE LUI: In relation to the accused Dragan Jokic, the Trial
15 Chamber declines to enter a conviction for Count 3: Murder, as a crime
16 against humanity.
17 The accused Dragan Jokic is found guilty pursuant to Article 7(1)
18 of the Statute through aiding and abetting of the following counts:
19 Count 2: Extermination, as a crime against humanity; Count 4: Murder,
20 as a violation of the laws and customs of war; and Count 5:
21 Persecutions, as a crime against humanity.
22 The Trial Chamber therefore sentences Dragan Jokic to a single
23 sentence of imprisonment for nine years.
24 You may sit down, Mr. Jokic.
25 [The accused Jokic sits down]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE LUI: Dragan Jokic voluntarily surrendered to the Tribunal
2 on the 15th August 2001. He was granted provisional release during the
3 pre-trial phase. Accordingly, he has been in custody for 917 days. He
4 is entitled to credit for that period towards service of the sentence
5 imposed, together with the period he will serve in custody pending a
6 determination by the President pursuant to Rule 103(A) as to the state
7 where the sentence is to be served. He is to remain in custody until
8 such determination is made.
9 The case is closed. The hearing is adjourned.
10 --- Whereupon the Judgement adjourned at 3.27 p.m.