1 Thursday, 22
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.00 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: The registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case number IT-96-23-T,
8 IT-96-23/1-T, the Prosecutor versus Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac, and
9 Zoran Vukovic.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: The accused Dragoljub Kunarac, can you hear the
11 proceedings in a language you understand?
12 THE ACCUSED KUNARAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Radomir Kovac?
14 THE ACCUSED KOVAC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Zoran Vukovic?
16 THE ACCUSED VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: May I have the parties, please. The Prosecution.
18 MR. RYNEVELD: If it please the Court, Dirk Ryneveld, with
19 Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff, Peggy Kuo, and Daryl Mundis for the
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. The Defence for Dragoljub Kunarac,
23 MR. PRODANOVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. I am Slavisa
24 Prodanovic, Defence counsel for Mr. Dragoljub Kunarac. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. For Radomir Kovac, please.
1 MR. KOLESAR: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I am
2 attorney Kolesar from Zemun, with Vladimir Rajic. We represent the
3 accused Radomir Kovac.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. For Zoran Vukovic, please.
5 MR. JOVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I'm
6 attorney Goran Jovanovic, and along with my colleague Jelena Lopicic, we
7 represent the accused Zoran Vukovic.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
9 Today the Trial Chamber delivers its judgement in the proceedings
10 against the accused.
11 The full text of the judgement will be distributed to the parties
12 after the proceedings. I shall only read out a summary and the
14 The three accused, who are ethnic Serbs, have been charged by the
15 Prosecution with violations of the laws or customs of war and with crimes
16 against humanity - rape, torture, enslavement, and outrages upon personal
18 They participated in a Serb campaign in the wider area of the
19 municipality of Foca from early 1992 up to about mid-1993. The campaign
20 was part of an armed conflict between the Serb and Muslim forces in the
21 wider region of Foca, which existed at all times material to the
22 indictments against the accused.
23 The purpose of the campaign was, among others, to cleanse the Foca
24 area of Muslims; to that end, the campaign was successful. Even the
25 town's name was cleansed.
1 Foca was renamed Srbinje and now lies in the territory of the
2 Republic Srpska. There are hardly any Muslims left in Srbinje today.
3 One target of that campaign, apart from the Muslim armed forces,
4 were Muslim civilians. In the present case, especially Muslim women.
5 The method employed was mostly expulsion through terror.
6 On a general level, the terror expressed itself in the violent
7 destruction of the religious symbols of the Muslims. All mosques in Foca
8 were blown up and the ruins razed to the ground.
9 Civilian Muslims men and women were rounded up in the villages
10 surrounding Foca, and even as far as the neighbouring municipalities of
11 Kalinovik and Gacko. The men were separated from the women and children.
12 The men often had to suffer long periods of detention in the Foca
13 KP Dom prison. Detention without justification. Some were severely
14 mistreated when they were captured. Some were killed on the spot, often
15 in the presence or within earshot of their families.
16 The women and children from the Foca region were taken to
17 collection points, such as Buk Bijela, a settlement south of Foca. From
18 there, they were transferred by bus to Foca High School where they were
19 detained. Some of them were later taken to other places in and around
20 Foca, such as Partizan Sports Hall, which was about a stone's throw away
21 from the police station, and to private houses in Miljevina and Trnovace.
22 There they would meet women and girls from the other two municipalities.
23 In the above-mentioned places the terror took on another, very
24 personal dimension.
25 The trial against the three accused has sometimes been called the
1 "rape camp case," an example of the systematic rape of women of another
2 ethnicity being used as a weapon of war.
3 It is to some extent misleading to say that systematic rape was
4 employed as a weapon of war. This could be understood to mean a kind of
5 concerted approach or an order given to the Bosnian Serb armed forces to
6 rape Muslim women as part of their combat activities in the wider meaning.
7 There is no sufficient evidence for such a finding before the Trial
9 What the evidence shows is that the rapes were used by members of
10 the Bosnian Serb armed forces as an instrument of terror, an instrument
11 they were given free rein to apply whenever and against whomsoever they
13 What the evidence shows is that it was possible for the Serb
14 forces to set up and maintain a detention centre for scores of Muslim
15 women such as Partizan Sports Hall, next to the municipal police building
16 in Foca, from which women and young girls were taken away on a regular
17 basis to other locations to be raped.
18 What the evidence shows is that the authorities who were meant to
19 protect the victims, such as the local police which had been taken over by
20 the Serbs, turned a blind eye to their suffering. Instead, they helped
21 guard the women, and even joined in the maltreatment when approached by
22 them for help against their oppressors.
23 What the evidence shows are Muslims, women and girls, mothers and
24 daughters together, robbed of their last vestiges of human dignity, women
25 and girls treated like chattels, pieces of property at the arbitrary
1 disposal of the Serb occupation forces, and more specifically, at the beck
2 and call of the three accused.
3 What the sum of the evidence manifestly demonstrates is the effect
4 a criminal personality will have in times of war on helpless members of
5 the civilian population:
6 The actions of the three accused were part of a systematic attack
7 against Muslim civilians. Some of their acts, in peacetime, could
8 doubtlessly be characterised as organised crime.
9 They knew of the military conflict in the Foca region, because
10 they participated in it as soldiers in different units.
11 They knew that one of the main purposes of that campaign was to
12 drive the Muslims out of the region.
13 They knew that one way to achieve this was to terrorise the Muslim
14 civilian population in a manner that would make it impossible for them
15 ever to return.
16 They also knew of the general pattern of crimes, especially of
17 detaining women and girls in different locations where they would be
19 The actions of all three accused, as will be described, show
20 beyond any doubt their knowledge of the detention centres, and of the
21 practice of systematically transferring the women and girls to locations
22 where they would be abused by Serb men.
23 The three accused were not just following orders, if there were
24 such orders to rape Muslim women. The evidence those free will on their
25 part. Of the women and girls so detained, one was a child of only 12
1 years at the time. She has not been heard of since she was sold by one of
2 the accused. The women and girls were either lent or "rented out" to
3 other soldiers for the sole purpose of being ravaged and abused. Some of
4 the women and girls were kept in servitude for months on end.
5 The three accused are not ordinary soldiers, whose morals were
6 merely loosened by the hardships of war. These are men with no known
7 criminal pasts as far as the Trial Chamber is concerned. However, they
8 thrived in the dark atmosphere of the dehumanisation of those they
9 believed to be enemies, when one would not even ask, in the words of
10 Eleanor Roosevelt:
11 "Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small
12 places, close to home ..."
13 The three accused are certainly not in the category of the
14 political or military masterminds behind the conflicts and atrocities.
15 However, the Trial Chamber wishes to make it perfectly clear that,
16 although in these cases before this Tribunal it is generally desirable to
17 prosecute and try those in the higher echelons of power, the Trial Chamber
18 will not accept low rank or subordinate function as an escape from
19 criminal prosecution.
20 Political leaders and war Generals are powerless if the ordinary
21 people refuse to carry out criminal activities in the course of war.
22 Lawless opportunists should expect no mercy no matter how low their
23 position in the chain of command may be.
24 Indeed, it is opportune to state that in time of peace as much as
25 in time of war, men of substance do not abuse women.
1 The Trial Chamber will now set out its verdict with regard to each
3 Will the accused Dragoljub Kunarac please stand.
4 Dragoljub Kunarac, under Counts 1 to 4, you were charged with rape
5 and torture, both as a violation of the laws or customs of war and as a
6 crime against humanity.
7 The Trial Chamber does not accept your defence of alibi with
8 respect to any of these charges and that applies equally for all the other
9 Counts that you were charged with in the indictment.
10 As to the charge that you took Witness 87 to the house at Ulica
11 Osmana Djikica no. 16 at least twice between 13 July and 1 August 1992,
12 where she was allegedly raped by the other soldiers, the Trial Chamber
13 finds that the allegations have not been established beyond reasonable
15 As to the charge that on or around 16 July 1992, you took
16 Witness 75 and DB to Ulica Osmana Djikica no. 16 where they were raped by
17 several soldiers, where you personally raped DB and aided and abetted the
18 gang-rape of Witness 75 by several soldiers, the Trial Chamber finds that
19 these charges have been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
20 As to the charge that on 2 August 1992, you took Witness 87,
21 Witness 75, Witness 50, and DB to Ulica Osmana Djikica no. 16 and that
22 you, Dragoljub Kunarac, personally raped Witness 87 and aided and abetted
23 the rape of Witness 87, Witness 75, and Witness 50 at the hands of the
24 other soldiers, the Trial Chamber finds that these charges have been
25 proved beyond reasonable doubt.
1 As to the charge that at least twice between 13 July and 2 August
2 1992, you took Witness 95 from Partizan Sports Hall to Ulica Osmana
3 Djikica no. 16 where she was allegedly once raped by you and by three
4 other soldiers and that the second time she was raped by three soldiers
5 but not by you, the Trial Chamber finds that it has been proved beyond
6 reasonable doubt that you personally raped Witness 95 on one occasion, but
7 it has not been established that Witness 95 was raped by other soldiers
8 during the two incidents mentioned above.
9 According to the test set out by the Trial Chamber in its
10 judgement with respect to cumulative convictions for the same conduct,
11 namely that such convictions are permissible when each offence charged
12 contains at least one distinct element not contained in the other, your
13 conduct can be punished as both rape and torture, both under Article 3 of
14 the Statute as a violation of the laws or customs of war and under
15 Article 5 of the Statute as a crime against humanity. This legal
16 principle applies equally in the indictments against the three accused.
17 The Trial Chamber therefore finds you guilty under Count 1 of
18 torture as a crime against humanity; under Count 2 of rape as a crime
19 against humanity; under Count 3 of torture as a violation of the laws and
20 customs of war; and under Count 4 of rape as a violation of the laws and
21 customs of war.
22 Under Counts 5 to 8, you were charged with torture and rape, both
23 as a violation of the laws and customs of war and as a crime against
25 On the evidence before it, the Trial Chamber finds that the
1 charges have not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
2 The Trial Chamber therefore finds you not guilty under Counts 5,
3 6, 7, and 8.
4 Under Counts 9 and 10, you were charged with rape as a violation
5 of the laws and customs of war and as a crime against humanity.
6 As to the charge that sometime in September or October 1992, you
7 went to a place called Karaman's house in Miljevina, you took Witness 87
8 to the upper floor and raped her, the Trial Chamber finds that the charges
9 have been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
10 The Trial Chamber therefore finds you guilty under Count 9 of rape
11 as a crime against humanity; and under Count 10 as a violation of the laws
12 and customs of war.
13 Under Counts 11 and 12, you were charged with torture and rape as
14 a violation of the laws and customs of war.
15 The Trial Chamber finds that these charges have been fully
16 established. One evening in mid-July 1992, you and two other soldiers
17 took Witness 183 from her home to the banks of the Cehotina River in Foca
18 where the three of you raped her. You personally raped Witness 183 and
19 aided and abetted her rape by the other two soldiers by encouraging the
20 other men while they were raping her. You further mocked the victim by
21 telling the other soldiers to wait for their turn while you were raping
22 her by laughing at her while she was raped by the other soldiers, and
23 finally by saying that she would carry Serb babies and that she would not
24 know the father.
25 Accordingly, the Trial Chamber finds you guilty under Count 11 of
1 torture as a violation of the laws and customs of war; and under Count 12
2 of rape as a violation of the laws and customs of war.
3 Under Counts 18 to 21, you are charged with enslavement and
4 outrages upon personal dignity as crimes against humanity and with rape
5 both as the violation of the laws and customs of war and as a crime
6 against humanity.
7 The Trial Chamber finds that on the evidence before it the facts
8 underlying these charges have partly been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
9 The Trial Chamber finds that you, Dragoljub Kunarac, on 2 August
10 1992, personally raped Witness 191 in the house in Trnovace and by taking
11 the girls to the house, aided and abetted the rape of Witness 186 at the
12 hands of the soldier with the pseudonym DP6.
13 However, the Trial Chamber is not satisfied that JG, whom you had
14 also brought to the house, was raped by the soldier with the nickname
15 "Gaga" on that night.
16 Furthermore, the Trial Chamber finds that from 2 August 1992
17 onwards, you, Dragoljub Kunarac, raped Witness 191 whenever you visited
18 the house in Trnovace while DP6 raped Witness 186 during that period. It
19 has, however, not been established that you aided and betted the rape of
20 Witness 186 by DP6 during the same period as it has not been shown, apart
21 from the incident when you brought the women to the house, that you were
22 present while DP6 raped 186 or supported him in any other way. It has not
23 been shown that your presence or actions assisted or provided
24 encouragement to DP6 in raping Witness 186. The loose connection between
25 the events at the house and your sporadic presence there would stretch the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 concept of aiding and abetting with respect to the actual rapes beyond its
2 limits, while it is still close enough for the Count on enslavement.
3 The Trial Chamber also finds that Witness 186 and Witness 191 were
4 kept for several months in the house in Trnovace where they were treated
5 as private property by both you and DP6.
6 The Trial Chamber considers the following elements to be of
7 particular relevance for the crime of enslavement: The fact that the
8 girls were detained; the fact that they had to do everything they were
9 ordered to do, including the cooking and household chores; the fact that
10 you asserted exclusivity over Witness 191 by reserving her for yourself;
11 that they were at the constant disposal of you and DP6; other degrading
12 treatment such as offering one soldier the permission to rape her for 100
13 Deutschmarks in the presence of 191; and that they were effectively denied
14 any control about their lives.
15 The Trial Chamber is of the view that you and DP6 acted in
16 combination and aided and abetted each other regarding the enslavement of
17 these women.
18 The Trial Chamber is, however, of the view that the evidence is
19 not sufficient to support the charge of outrages upon personal dignity in
20 relation to both Witness 186 and Witness 191.
21 The Trial Chamber therefore finds you guilty under Count 18 of
22 enslavement as a crime against humanity, under Count 19 of rape as a crime
23 against humanity, under Count 20 of rape as a violation of the laws and
24 customs of war, but not guilty under Count 21 of outrages upon personal
25 dignity as a violation of the laws and customs of war.
1 By the totality of these acts you have shown the most glaring
2 disrespect for the women's dignity and their fundamental human right to
3 sexual self-determination. On a scale that far surpasses even what one
4 might call, for want of a better expression, the "average seriousness of
5 rapes during wartime." You abused and ravaged Muslim women because of
6 their ethnicity, and from among their number, you picked whomsoever you
7 fancied on a given occasion.
8 You were a soldier with courage in the field, somebody whom your
9 own men undisputedly are said to have held in high esteem. By this
10 natural authority you could easily have put an end to the women's
11 suffering. Your active participation in this nightmarish scheme of sexual
12 exploitation is therefore even more repugnant.
13 You not only mistreated women and girls yourself, but you also
14 organised their transfer to other places where, as you are fully aware,
15 they would be raped and abused by other soldiers.
16 This behaviour calls for a severe penalty commensurate with the
17 gravity of your crimes. The Trial Chamber therefore sentences you,
18 Dragoljub Kunarac, to a single sentence of 28 years' imprisonment. The
19 sentence shall run from today. The time you have spent in custody shall
20 be credited towards the sentence.
21 You may sit down.
22 Would the accused Radomir Kovac please stand.
23 Radomir Kovac, under Counts 22 to 25 you are charged with
24 enslavement and rape as crimes against humanity, and rape and outrages
25 upon personal dignity as violations of the laws and customs of war.
1 On the basis of the evidence received, the Trial Chamber finds
2 that the charges against you have been proved beyond reasonable doubt as
4 On or about 31 October 1992, four girls, Witness 87, Witness 75,
5 AB, and AS, were transferred to your apartment in the Lepa Brena building
6 in Foca. Witness 75 and AB were kept for about a week in the apartment
7 during which time you treated them as your personal property and
8 frequently sexually assaulted them.
9 They had to do household chores. The hygienic conditions for all
10 the girls were appalling, and they often had to go hungry because they did
11 not receive sufficient food from you.
12 On one occasion you raped Witness 75 and Witness 87 at the same
13 time whilst playing music on your stereo.
14 During that time in your apartment, Witness 75 and AB were raped
15 by you personally and by other soldiers. In one instance, Witness 75
16 refused to go with a soldier named Slavo Ivanovic whom you had brought to
17 the apartment. As a result, you slapped her and sent 12-year-old AB in
18 her place. After about a week, you handed the two girls over to another
19 Serb soldier who continued to rape them. You then visited the house in
20 which they were kept for about two weeks and there pretended to feel sorry
21 for them.
22 They were subsequently handed yet to another group of soldiers who
23 continued to rape them and eventually they were brought back to you. The
24 next day, you sold AB and handed Witness 75 over to the soldier with the
25 pseudonym DP1.
1 You thus personally raped Witness 75 and AB and aided and abetted
2 their rape by other soldiers by allowing these soldiers to visit your
3 apartment and to rape the girls, or by encouraging them to do so and by
4 handing over the girls to other men in the knowledge that they would rape
6 While they were kept in your apartment, Witness 87 and AS were
7 constantly raped by you and Jagos Kostic. You personally raped Witness 87
8 while Jagos Kostic raped AS, and sometimes also 87, whom you had
9 "reserved" for yourself, without your knowledge.
10 The Trial Chamber therefore finds that it has not been established
11 beyond reasonable doubt that you aided and abetted the rape of Witness 87
12 by Jagos Kostic, as the evidence indicates that this fact was hidden from
14 On an unknown date but between the end of October and about 7
15 November 1992, you forced Witness 87, AS, and AB to dance naked on a table
16 whilst watching them. However, it has not been established beyond
17 reasonable doubt that Witness 75 was also present on that occasion.
18 Finally, on or about 25 February 1993, you sold both Witness 87
19 and AS for 500 Deutschmarks each to some Montenegrin soldiers.
20 Concerning the count of enslavement with respect to Witness 87 and
21 Witness 75, AS, and AB, the Trial Chamber found the following elements to
22 be of particular relevance:
23 The girls were physically and psychologically detained, because
24 even if they had managed to flee from the apartment, they would have had
25 nowhere to go; that you sold Witness 87, AS, and AB; that you handed
1 Witness 75, AB to other soldiers; the mistreatment, such as beating and
2 slapping; your claim of exclusivity over Witness 87; the poor living
3 conditions and the lack of food; the fact that they had to obey every
4 order and do whatever they were told to do, including the cooking and
5 household chores.
6 Regarding the count of outrages upon personal dignity against
7 Witness 87, Witness 75, AS, and AB, the Trial Chamber found the following
8 elements to be of particular relevance:
9 That you forced the girls to dance naked on a table; beating and
10 slapping them; the fact that the girls were loaned and sold to other men;
11 the fact that Witness 75 and Witness 87 were once raped by you at the same
12 time while you played music on your stereo.
13 At all times you were aware that the girls were of Muslim
14 ethnicity, and this was one of the main reasons why you mistreated and
15 abused them.
16 The Trial Chamber accordingly finds you, Radomir Kovac, finds you
17 guilty under Count 22 of enslavement as a crime against humanity, under
18 Count 23 of rape as a crime against humanity, under Count 24 of rape as a
19 violation of the laws and customs of war, and under Count 25 of outrages
20 upon personal dignity as a violation of the laws and customs of war.
21 Although you have not been convicted as of many counts as the
22 accused Dragoljub Kunarac, the Trial Chamber finds that your guilt is
23 almost as great as his.
24 Particularly appalling and deplorable is your treatment of
25 12-year-old AB, a helpless little child for whom you showed absolutely no
1 compassion whatsoever, but whom you abused sexually in the same way as the
2 other girls. You finally sold her like an object, in the knowledge that
3 this would almost certainly mean further sexual assaults by other men.
4 You knew that any chance of her being reunited with her mother,
5 whose immense grief the Trial Chamber had to countenance in the hearing,
6 would thus become even more remote than it already was. At the time of
7 trial, some eight years later, the child had never been seen or heard of
8 again. The treatment of AB is the most striking example of your morally
9 depraved and corrupt character.
10 But what you did to the other girls is no less severe. You kept
11 them as your and Jagos Kostic's slaves, to be used whenever the desire
12 took you, to be given to whomsoever you wished to show a favour. You
13 relished in the absolute power you exerted over their lives, which you
14 made abundantly clear by making them dance naked on a table while you
15 watched. When they had served their purpose, you sold them, too. Your
16 conduct merits serious punishment.
17 The Trial Chamber therefore sentences you, Radomir Kovac, to a
18 single sentence of 20 years' imprisonment. The sentence shall run from
19 today. The time you have spent in custody shall be credited towards the
21 You may sit down.
22 The accused Zoran Vukovic please stand.
23 Zoran Vukovic, under Counts 21 to 24 you are charged with torture
24 and rape, both as a crime against humanity and as a violation of the laws
25 and customs of war.
1 On the evidence before it, the Trial Chamber finds that none of
2 the allegations underlying these counts have been proved beyond reasonable
4 The Trial Chamber therefore finds you not guilty under Counts 21,
5 22, 23, and 24.
6 Under Counts 33 to 36, you were charged with torture and rape,
7 both as a crime against humanity and as a violation of the laws and
8 customs of war.
9 On the evidence before it, the Trial Chamber finds that only one
10 of the incidents underlying those charges has been proved beyond
11 reasonable doubt, namely, that on or around 14th July 1992, you personally
12 raped Witness 50. You and another soldier took her out of Partizan after
13 you had threatened her mother that you would kill her if she did not tell
14 you where her daughter was hiding. Her mother then went to find her. You
15 took her to another house where you raped her.
16 She was 15 years old at the time, which you knew, because you told
17 her that had she not been the same age as your daughter, who was about 15
18 years at the time, you would have done much worse things to her.
19 The Trial Chamber does not accept the evidence that you were
20 unable to have sexual intercourse because of an injury to the scrotum
21 which you allegedly suffered.
22 The Trial Chamber therefore finds you, Zoran Vukovic, guilty under
23 Count 33 of torture as a crime against humanity; under Count 34 of rape as
24 a crime against humanity; under Count 35 of torture as a violation of the
25 laws and customs and war; and under Count 36 of rape as a violation of the
1 laws and customs of war.
2 The Prosecution evidence in your case has not sustained most
3 counts in the indictment against you, and as a consequence, your sentence
4 must be lighter than the other two accused.
5 However, the Trial Chamber regards it as a serious matter that you
6 showed a total lack of remorse and moral stature by talking about your own
7 daughter after having raped Witness 50, who was, in addition, only
8 15 years old at the time, and mocked her in her grief by saying that you
9 could have treated her much worse still.
10 Your actions call for serious punishment.
11 The Trial Chamber therefore sentences you, Zoran Vukovic, to a
12 single sentence of 12 years imprisonment.
13 The sentence shall run from today. The time you have spent in
14 custody shall be credited towards the sentence.
15 You may sit down.
16 This concludes the judgement of the Trial Chamber. The hearing is
17 closed, and the Court will rise.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.32 p.m.
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