1 Friday, 2 November 2001
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.30 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
7 Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Good afternoon to counsel
8 for the Prosecution and for the Defence, to the interpreters, technical
9 staff and court reporters as well.
10 Madam Registrar, please call the case.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
12 IT-98-30/1-T, the Prosecutor versus Kvocka and others.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] May we have the appearances for
14 the Prosecution, please.
15 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. Susan L. Somers, lead
16 counsel. To my right, Ms. Yukiko Takashiba, Mr. Nobuo Hayashi, Mr. Daniel
17 Saxon, Mr. Kapila Waidyaratne, and Miss Denise Gustin.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Madam
19 Somers. Appearances for the Defence, please.
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. My name
21 is Krstan Simic; I represent the first accused, Miroslav Kvocka.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. My
24 name is Zarko Nikolic, lead counsel for the accused Milojica Kos. To my
25 right, Ms. Jelena Nikolic and Mr. Eugene O'Sullivan.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. My name
2 is Toma Fila and, together with Zoran Jovanovic, I am representing Mr.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. My
5 name is Slobodan Stojanovic, and I represent Mr. Zoran Zigic. To my left
6 is my colleague, Mr. Deretic.
7 MR. J. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. My
8 name is Jovan Simic and, together with my colleague Dusan Masic, we are
9 representing Mr. Dragoljub Prcac.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," as Martin
12 Luther King said so well. With this maxim in mind, and mindful of the
13 need to ward off such a threat, the Chamber is today rendering its
14 Judgement in the Prosecutor's case against Miroslav Kvocka, Milojica Kos,
15 Mladjo Radic, Zoran Zigic, and Dragoljub Prcac, who stand accused of
16 persecution and other crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in
17 the region of Prijedor between the 26th of May and 30th of August, 1992,
18 and more specifically in the camps of Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje.
19 Before we consider the merits of the case, a few preliminary
20 remarks are in order.
21 First, we would like to thank all those who participated in
22 different ways in this trial, with a special thought for those who are not
23 here today but who are nonetheless among us.
24 We would like to comment on the procedural changes this case has
25 gone through. The time span of the arrests was great: 9 April 1998 for
1 the first, Mr. Kvocka and Mr. Radic; 5 April 2000 for the last,
2 Mr. Prcac. The Prosecution team changed lead counsel several times,
3 Mr. Zigic's Defence team changed, and the Chamber itself was composed in
4 several ways during the pre-trial stage.
5 In all, the trial against the accused Kvocka, Radic, Kos, and
6 Zigic opened only on 26 February 2000. Mr. Prcac was arrested on 6 March
7 2000, and the Chamber, after discussion with the two parties, ordered the
8 joinder of trials out of a concern for the proper administration of
9 justice. The trial recommenced on 2 May 2000, this time against five
10 accused, and the proceedings were declared closed on 16 July 2001.
11 During the trial, 60 or so decisions and written orders were
12 rendered, which does not include the countless decisions delivered
13 orally. There were six interlocutory appeals. The Chamber sat for 113
14 days in this case, while also holding hearings in the Krstic case at the
15 same time. The Chamber heard 50 Prosecution witnesses, 89 Defence
16 witnesses, and admitted a total of 489 exhibits.
17 We do not wish to elaborate here on the details of the
18 proceedings. Two decisions of particular importance in respect of this
19 trial, however, deserve mention.
20 The first is the judicial notice taken by the Chamber at the
21 request of the Prosecutor. The Chamber, relying on the Appeals Chamber's
22 judgement in the Tadic case, decided that "at the times and places alleged
23 in the indictment, there existed an armed conflict; that this conflict
24 included a widespread and systematic attack against notably the Muslim and
25 Croat civilian population; and that there was a nexus between this armed
1 conflict and the widespread and systematic attack on the civilian
2 population and the existence of the Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps
3 and the mistreatment of the prisoners therein." This decision, largely
4 the result of agreements between the two parties, made it possible to
5 limit relatively the facts at issue and to centre the discussion on the
6 individual responsibility of each of the accused.
7 The second decision worth mention is the motion for acquittal of
8 14 December 2000 presented by the Defence for the accused Radic, Kos,
9 Zigic, and Prcac. The Chamber considered - even without a motion from
10 Kvocka's counsel - that the accused Kvocka, Radic, Kos, and Prcac should
11 be acquitted of the crimes with which they were charged, allegedly
12 committed in Keraterm and Trnopolje, as well as for certain crimes
13 committed against a number of victims, some of whom have been listed. The
14 accused Zigic, too, was acquitted of a limited number of crimes for which
15 he had been prosecuted.
16 We come now to the actual pronouncement of the judgement in the
17 case the Prosecutor versus Miroslav Kvocka, Milojica Kos, Mladjo Radic,
18 Zoran Zigic, and Dragoljub Prcac. We will not read out the entire written
19 Judgement now but will present a summary which will provide the accused
20 and the public with the main reasons which led the Chamber to decide as it
21 did. We emphasise that the only authentic text is that of the written
22 Judgement and nothing of what we are going to say here can be construed,
23 even in the slightest way, as altering this Judgement.
24 Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Radic, Mr. Kos, Mr. Zigic, Mr. Prcac, the crimes
25 with which you were charged are based on events which followed the attack
1 of the Serb forces on the town of Prijedor in April-May 1992, the arrests
2 carried out by the Serbs, and all the mistreatment suffered by almost all
3 of those arrested, mistreatment sometimes as serious as rape, torture, or
5 In reaching its decision, the Chamber had to respond essentially
6 to three questions: What are the facts? What crimes were committed? Can
7 we find you guilty, Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Radic, Mr. Kos, Mr. Zigic, and
8 Mr. Prcac, for one or any of these crimes? What we will present is a
9 summary of the conclusions reached by the Chamber on these three
11 What are the facts?
12 On the 30th of April 1992, Serb forces took control of Prijedor.
13 The takeover of Prijedor was followed shortly afterwards by the removal of
14 the non-Serbs, Muslims, and Bosnian Croats from positions of
15 responsibility. Many lost their employment, their children were prevented
16 from going to school, and the radio broadcast anti-Muslim and anti-Croat
18 The Croats and Muslims did not accept the situation and considered
19 reacting. Whenever they put up any significant resistance, the Serbs
20 launched attacks like those against the villages of Hambarine and
21 Kozarac. On the 30th of May, the Muslim attempt to regain control of
22 Prijedor failed. To avert any desire for resistance by the Croats, and
23 especially the Muslims, the Serbs decided to interrogate any non-Serbs who
24 might present a threat and arrested, in particular, any persons exercising
25 an authority, moral or otherwise, or representing some kind of power, in
1 particular, economic. At the same time, the men were separated from the
2 women, children, and elderly. Men in particular were interrogated. The
3 Serbs thus found reason to assemble in centres the non-Serbs who had not
4 left the region. That is how the camps of Omarska, Keraterm, and
5 Trnopolje were established.
6 The evidence presented to the Chamber makes it necessary to speak
7 not of investigation centres or assembly points but of camps. Trnopolje
8 was in fact a rather disparate collection of buildings in a village of the
9 same name. Omarska camp was located in the premises of a former iron
10 mine, and Keraterm in a ceramics factory. In view of the charges brought
11 respectively against the accused and the Chamber's final findings, we will
12 focus on Omarska camp.
13 Like Trnopolje and Keraterm, Omarska camp was officially
14 established on the 30th of May, 1992, by Simo Drljaca. We note that
15 Drljaca was indicted by the Tribunal but died during an attempt to
16 apprehend him. Planned initially to function for a fortnight, it in fact
17 remained in operation until about the 20th of August, 1992. During this
18 period of almost three months, more than 3.334 detainees at least passed
19 through the camp. Thirty or so women must be added to this list, several
20 of whom occupied high positions locally. All those detained were
21 interrogated. Almost all were beaten. Many would not leave the camp
23 The living conditions in Omarska camp were appalling. Some of you
24 perhaps remember the images filmed by a television team showing emaciated
25 men with haggard faces and often a look of resignation or complete
1 dejection. These were the images which would make the international
2 community react and are, perhaps, one of the reasons the Tribunal was
4 Let us picture the Omarska camp. An administrative building, with
5 a dining room and kitchens on the ground floor, and offices used mainly
6 for interrogations upstairs. From the dining hall and the stairs leading
7 to the offices, we see the area separating the administrative building
8 from the hangars, called the pista. A little further on is a grassy area
9 with a small, light-coloured building called the "white house." Further
10 on again, which we cannot see, a very small building, the "red house."
11 The mistreatment in the camp was constant and widespread and began
12 with the arrival of the detainees. As soon as they arrived, in fact, the
13 prisoners were usually beaten, or in any case mistreated, as if to
14 demonstrate to them straight away that they were not to be considered
15 human beings. They were beaten as they were led out of the bus which
16 brought them to the camp; they were lined up against the wall and an
17 identity document or money often stolen from them; they were made to sing
18 Serb songs; they were made to sit on the ground or even to lie face down
19 on the burning asphalt for hours without being allowed to move or find
20 something to drink. Then they were interrogated. They were punched,
21 kicked with boots, beaten with rifle butts, and all kinds of objects.
22 There were no cells in the hangars, only large rooms where
23 detainees were held in unbearably crowded conditions, sometimes with
24 scarcely room to move, forced to sleep, insofar as they could, on the
25 ground or on pallets.
1 The prisoners were fed little, the food was usually rotten, and
2 they had almost no water. There were no real toilets and they had to use
3 buckets or the corner of the room to relieve themselves, or else soil
4 themselves. The sick or wounded detainees received little or no
5 treatment. In general, the men were wasted, weakened, and exhausted from
6 the fact of living in a climate of violence and fear.
7 They did not know when their name would be called out. They knew,
8 however, that when their name was called, it was not so much for
9 interrogation as for beating. They were beaten during interrogation, as
10 we have said. They were beaten when they were going to eat and as they
11 were forced to run to the dining hall. They had only a few minutes in
12 which to swallow a pitiful meal. They were beaten when they wanted to go
13 to the toilets, so that most of them chose not to. They were also beaten
14 for no other apparent reason than a guard or visitor being overcome by the
15 desire for violence. The Chamber received much evidence to demonstrate
16 that people often came from outside the camp and committed different acts
17 of violence on the prisoners. Mr. Zigic was one of these visitors. Some
18 women were not beaten. Some were molested; others, or even the same, were
20 In other words, there was no area of the camp where a detainee
21 could feel safe or, quite simply, hope not to be beaten or subjected to
22 some form of violence.
23 There were offices in the administrative building, in particular
24 those of the camp commander and the one used for communications. There
25 were also those for the interrogations. Men screamed; none of the accused
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 heard their cries. Men were beaten violently; when the women had to
2 clean, they found traces of blood and human spatter. The accused saw
3 nothing. It is there that the women detainees slept; it is there that
4 they were taken out from at night. They were mistreated and raped. Some
5 remained prostrate, not speaking a word during the day. None of the
6 accused noticed anything at all.
7 The detainees spent hours on the pista. It was June, July,
8 August; it was often hot, very hot. They did not have anything to drink
9 but were violently hosed down with fire hoses. The men were dirty. Their
10 wounds became infected. Some had dysentery, attacks of diarrhea.
11 According to many witnesses, the odor was absolutely nauseating. Did the
12 accused smell anything?
13 The detainees taken to the "white house" were almost always
14 beaten, usually ferociously. The men were tortured in front of each
15 other. Sometimes they were made to beat one another. A father was beaten
16 to death in front of his son. The men shrieked with pain. There was
17 blood on the walls and on the ground. The men who came out of there alive
18 had open wounds, could not stand, or were unconscious. The corpses
19 removed from there had open wounds to the skull, severed joints, slit
20 throats. Some of the victims were ultimately executed with a bullet. The
21 accused heard nothing, saw nothing, did nothing.
22 Detainees sometimes died as a result of beatings. Their bodies
23 were left on the ground between the "white house" and the pista, sometimes
24 for several days. They would be loaded into small trucks by detainees.
25 Did the accused still see nothing? Some of the bodies were found much
1 later, including those of two women in mass graves.
2 The 12th of July is St. Peter's Day, Petrovdan, an important
3 Orthodox celebration when large bonfires are lit. On the 12th of July,
4 1992, a large bonfire was lit using tyres. Shots were fired at one of the
5 rooms containing detainees. Some were called out of the hangar. Screams
6 were heard. The air smelt of burnt tyres and grilled flesh. Did none of
7 the accused smell anything or see anything?
8 We could only give you a broad idea here of the horrifying living
9 conditions in the camps, especially Omarska. Clearly these facts cannot
10 be described as anything but crimes.
11 As one witness told us: "After the tragedy there, I don't think
12 that I can say that I'll ever be happy again. First, I lost my father and
13 sister. My daughter is suffering extremely serious aftereffects from the
14 events and so am I. I would like to know who has the authority to make me
15 leave my house, my town, my country and so become a refugee somewhere on
16 the other side of the world. I hope that those responsible for it will be
17 punished both by God and by you, and I hope that you will do so honestly
18 and fairly."
19 What crimes were committed?
20 The Prosecutor characterised all the facts we have just set out
21 and charged the accused with committing:
22 Persecutions under Article 5 of the Statute by means of murder,
23 torture and beatings, sexual assault and rape, harassment, humiliation and
24 psychological abuse, and confinement in inhumane conditions; torture under
25 Articles 3 and 5 of the Statute and cruel treatment under Article 3 of the
1 Statute; murder under Article 5 of the Statute and murder under Article 3
2 of the Statute; and, in respect of Mr. Radic alone, rape and torture under
3 Article 5 of the Statute, for facts also characterised as torture or
4 outrages upon personal dignity under Article 3 of the Statute.
5 We must underscore two things:
6 First, the Prosecutor singled out two of the accused as having
7 personally and physically committed many crimes; Mr. Radic, mainly for
8 rape, and Mr. Zigic, for murder and assault.
9 Second, at the request of the Chamber then hearing the case, the
10 Prosecutor presented a list of each of the accused's victims which made it
11 possible, in particular, to differentiate between the facts ascribed to
12 Mr. Zigic and those to the other accused.
13 The Defence did not generally challenge the legal characterisation
14 of the facts presented by the Prosecution. What it did principally
15 contest was the role of the accused in the commission of the crimes.
16 In its Judgement, the Chamber essentially relies on the Tribunal's
17 case law to define the crimes. For this reason, I will not elaborate here
18 on how the crimes were characterised except to recall that, by taking
19 judicial notice of many facts, the Chamber decided very early on in the
20 trial that at the times and places alleged in the indictment, there
21 existed a widespread and systematic attack against the Muslim and Croat
22 population in the municipality of Prijedor. Insofar as the same facts
23 were characterised in several ways, the Chamber concludes its Judgement by
24 applying the Appeals Chamber's case law on cumulative offences and, in
25 particular, follows the case law according to which the same facts may
1 give rise to convictions under both Article 3 and Article 5 of the
3 Upon analysis, the Chamber concludes that crimes of persecution,
4 murder, torture, and cruel treatment were committed.
5 Are the accused Kvocka, Radic, Kos, Zigic, and Prcac guilty of any
6 of these crimes?
7 The main question which the Chamber must answer is whether the
8 accused can be found guilty of the crimes.
9 Very briefly, the Prosecution and Defence arguments are as
11 The Prosecutor asserted that the facts which occurred in Omarska
12 or Keraterm as charged must be taken in the context of all the crimes
13 committed in the Prijedor region at the time. In essence, a
14 discriminatory, widespread and systematic attack coincided with the
15 commission of many crimes by different individuals. She argued that some
16 of the crimes could be isolated but that at camps such as the ones at
17 issue here, the theory of common purpose or joint criminal enterprise had
18 to be applied. Thus the Prosecutor held that the accused were not only
19 responsible for the crimes they directly and personally committed but also
20 for all the crimes falling within the common purpose. The Prosecutor
21 claimed that the accused Kvocka, Radic, Kos, Zigic, and Prcac were
22 therefore responsible for all the crimes committed in Omarska, with the
23 accused Zigic also being responsible for the incidents in Keraterm for
24 which he is being prosecuted. As such, all the accused were alleged to be
25 responsible on the basis of Article 7(1) of the Statute, that is,
1 responsible individually. The Prosecutor further contended that the
2 accused Kvocka, Radic, Kos, and Prcac were also responsible as command
3 superiors pursuant to Article 7(3) of the Statute.
4 In general, the Defence stated that the Prosecution had not put
5 forward the common purpose theory in the indictment, that the accused held
6 no position of authority in the camp, and that all of them had subordinate
7 positions or professions unrelated to their posts at the time of the
8 facts. Mr. Kvocka was a young policeman without rank. Mr. Radic was an
9 experienced policeman but likewise without rank. Mr. Kos, a waiter.
10 Mr. Zigic, a taxi driver and musician. And lastly, Mr. Prcac was in
11 retirement when recalled to serve at Omarska.
12 Furthermore, the Defence for the accused Kvocka and Prcac stated
13 that their clients had spent little time in Omarska camp, while Mr. Zigic,
14 it was claimed, had spent only eight hours -- eight days at Keraterm over
15 a course of ten or so days. And it was argued that although Mr. Zigic
16 might have committed a few excesses due, in particular, to his bad temper
17 and impulsive nature, he could not have committed many of the murders and
18 assaults ascribed to him, especially given a wound that he had received at
19 the time.
20 The Chamber was therefore confronted with very different
21 questions, with the response to the first, "Was there a joint criminal
22 enterprise?" to a large extent determining the responses to the others.
23 The Chamber first notes that in the Celebici case, the Appeals
24 Chamber considered that, desirable as it may be, identifying exactly how
25 the accused participated in the crimes in the indictment is not in and of
1 itself decisive. Put otherwise, though the Prosecutor did not expressly
2 refer to the common purpose in the indictment, nothing prohibits the
3 Chamber from taking into consideration the theory which, after all,
4 constitutes only one of the many forms of participation covered by the
5 Statute. To borrow the words of the Appeals Chamber in the Tadic case:
6 "[The Statute] does not exclude those modes of participating in
7 the commission of crimes which occur where several persons having a common
8 purpose embark on criminal activity that is then carried out either
9 jointly or by some members of this plurality of persons. Whoever
10 contributes to the commission of crimes by the group of persons or some
11 members of the group in execution of a common criminal purpose may be held
12 to be criminally liable, subject to certain conditions ..."
13 The Chamber carefully assessed all the arguments presented and
14 assiduously examined all the material in the record as well as the
15 testimony of the very many victims. In so doing, it took care to verify
16 the reliability of the statements and refrained from taking any systematic
17 or rigid approach. Thus, a witness viewed as credible on one incident
18 could be disregarded on another. The Chamber meticulously weighed all the
19 information which could provide an indication as to the exact position of
20 an accused within the camp, his acts or omissions, and the potential nexus
21 between each of the accused and the camps established on 30 May 1992. And
22 no doubt is possible.
23 Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps were not an accident. They
24 were not set up by chance. The evidence demonstrates that they were the
25 result of an intentional policy to impose a system of discrimination
1 against the non-Serb population of Prijedor. The Chamber quite agrees
2 that none of you accused may be charged with participating, even remotely,
3 in producing or planning the system. Moreover, the Chamber does not
4 believe that you were involved in any way in the conception of the camps
5 or in the decision to open them.
6 When you were working at Omarska camp, Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Radic,
7 Mr. Kos, and Mr. Prcac, you knew full well what was happening. And you,
8 Mr. Zigic, when you entered a camp, it was not so much to work as a guard
9 there - which you were only at Keraterm and for a very short time - than
10 to delight in the sadistic pleasure of beating the detainees, which you
11 did, alone or with others, without the slightest concern for the suffering
12 you were inflicting on them, sometimes until they died.
13 However, the Chamber cannot accept that you were not aware you
14 were directly participating in the "camp" component of the system of
15 persecution. The discriminatory policy implemented by others than you did
16 not stop at the gates of the camps. Quite on the contrary. Operating on
17 the pretext that they were seeking out possible criminal enemies, the
18 camps were merely one more cog in the machine for persecuting the non-Serb
19 population in Prijedor municipality. This cog was of itself
20 discriminatory by definition. There were not any, so to speak, Serb
21 detainees at Omarska, and those who were were accused of collaborating
22 with the non-Serb enemies. Each of you, in a different way, made it
23 possible for the cog to turn.
24 For the camps to operate, there had to be a commander, a deputy or
25 acting deputy commander, administrators to keep lists of prisoners, and
1 shift commanders so that the guards could work in rotation.
2 None of you can reasonably claim that the sole purpose of the
3 camps was to make it easier to carry out investigations and so identify
4 potential criminals, which in and of itself might have been conceived.
5 Anyone entering one of the camps could immediately see what was
6 going on there, that is, in the confinement cells where violence was
7 unceasing, deliberate and inflicted by both the people supposed to guard
8 the prisoners and persons from outside; violence inflicted on malnourished
9 and unwashed detainees suffering from dysentery and given little or no
10 treatment; violence which ended with murder. Corpses were left out in the
11 open, in the full view and knowledge of everyone.
12 Under these circumstances, how can you legitimately claim that you
13 did not know?
14 You knew this full well, Mr. Kvocka, because you wanted to get
15 your brothers-in-law out of Omarska camp. As a policeman, you were
16 perfectly aware of the difference between a beating and an interrogation.
17 You knew full well, Mr. Radic, that considerable violence was
18 being used during the interrogations, because, as you yourself said, you
19 spent a great deal of time in the offices.
20 You too, Mr. Prcac, who were quick to emphasise that your tasks
21 were strictly administrative, as if the whiteness of the paper could
22 conceal the colour of the blood on the walls or the all-pervading stench.
23 You knew this full well, Mr. Kos, you who put forward your
24 position as a waiter to emphasise that you were not even a policeman and
25 that you were not therefore in command of anything or anyone. But we know
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that the guards worked in three shifts of eight hours. We, therefore,
2 know that you were there at least eight hours a day, and that is why the
3 victims were able to identify you as a shift commander, and it is of
4 little importance that you were not a policeman beforehand. We must even
5 believe that you liked it because you remained at the camp for the whole
6 time while it operated, and you later took a police training course.
7 And you, Mr. Zigic, we know very well that you liked to turn up
8 unexpectedly at Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps. We know this
9 because you were so excessive that even the other guards complained about
10 you, and because reports were prepared so that measures would be taken to
11 prevent you from returning.
12 The Chamber wishes you to understand fully: The Chamber is not
13 stating that you foresaw or that you wished for events to unfold as they
14 did. The Chamber states that you were perfectly aware of the system of
15 persecution set in place in Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps and
16 that you participated in it, each in your own way, fully aware of what you
17 were doing. You participated in this hellish orgy of persecution.
18 Mr. Kvocka, please rise.
19 [The accused Kvocka stands]
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Kvocka, you are a
21 professional policeman, very knowledgable about the rules which apply to
22 police work. While working at Omarska camp from 29 May to 23 June 1992,
23 you were, as you stated yourself, a duty officer. You had no official
24 function, no specific responsibility. You did witness several acts of
25 violence but never participated in them. On the contrary, you claim that
1 you wanted to help some people, in particular, your Muslim
3 Nevertheless, the Chamber considers that isolated acts of kindness
4 to some prisoners do not absolve an individual of crimes which may have
5 been committed.
6 You were not a low-level official at the very bottom of the ladder
7 and so totally unable to exert an influence on what was happening. The
8 evidence presented at trial demonstrates that you were the camp
9 commander's right hand and, as such, passed on the orders which he
10 issued. Your role, however, did not end there because you replaced the
11 commander in his absence, and you could intervene so that the mistreatment
12 of a detainee would be stopped. You knew that sanctions could be taken
13 against those guards responsible for crimes, but you did not take any
14 meaningful steps to do so. You observed the climate of constant violence
15 in the camp and still, day after day, returned to carry out your
16 responsibilities in Omarska. You told us that you would have remained
17 longer in the camp had you been given the choice.
18 In short, not only did you know of the system of persecution which
19 Omarska camp represented, but you also agreed with it and made it possible
20 for the system to function. You did your work so well that the victims
21 had no doubt that you were the camp's deputy commander.
22 The Chamber accepts that you are a professional policeman who
23 loves his work. The Chamber can accept that of your own accord you would
24 not have taken the decision to mistreat non-Serbs systematically and
25 repeatedly. But you participated in the workings of that system and in so
1 doing incurred criminal responsibility.
2 For the reasons set out in detail in the Judgement, the Chamber
3 finds you guilty of the crime against humanity, persecution; and the war
4 crimes murder and torture.
5 You may be seated now, Mr. Kvocka.
6 [The accused Kvocka sits down]
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Kos, please rise.
8 [The accused Kos stands]
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] When you were mobilised into the
10 reserve police on the 6th of May, 1992, Mr. Kos, you were a waiter. You
11 were assigned to Omarska camp from late May until at least early August
12 1992. Your counsel maintained that, at Omarska camp, you were a young,
13 inexperienced recruit with no authority of any kind. The Prosecutor
14 claimed that you were a guard shift commander. The evidence produced has
15 completely satisfied the Chamber that you were indeed the shift commander
16 known by the nickname Krle.
17 It is interesting to note briefly that Mr. Kvocka described the
18 functions allegedly assigned to you by Zeljko Meakic in the same way that
19 Mr. Radic defined his own: responsible for radio and telephone
21 In fact, you were a shift commander; the guards addressed you as
22 such and you issued instructions to them. Admittedly, on a very few
23 occasions, you did intervene in order to prevent violent acts from being
24 perpetrated on a detainee.
25 However, many witnesses implicated you, firstly, for
1 unquestionably having been in a position to observe that crimes had been
2 or were being committed and for not reacting; secondly, for having
3 yourself participated in acts of violence against detainees; and lastly,
4 for having occasionally extorted money from detainees.
5 You were not only a cog in the wheel, passively turning with it;
6 you were a major part of that wheel and did not hesitate at times to
7 contribute actively to raising the level of violence and terror in the
9 The Chamber thus finds you guilty of the crime against humanity,
10 persecution; and the war crimes murder and torture.
11 You may be seated.
12 [The accused Kos sits down]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Radic, please rise.
14 [The accused Radic stands]
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Radic, since 1972, you have
16 also been a professional policeman. According to your own statements, you
17 worked at Omarska camp from 28 May 1992 until late August 1992, first as a
18 guard and then as the person responsible for radio and telephone
20 The evidence heard by the Chamber shows that, more specifically,
21 you carried out the functions of shift commander. There were three shift
22 commanders in Omarska: yourself, Mr. Kos, and a man named Ckalja. In
23 addition, you were known to the detainees more by your nickname Krkan, and
24 you had the reputation of being the most violent of the shift commanders.
25 As shift commander, you were free to move about in the camp, in
1 the offices, on the pista, and in the "white house." Above all, you
2 issued orders to the guards and, in any case, exercised authority over
3 them by assigning their posts and by telling them to take the detainees to
4 various locations. Your authority was so great that, as witnesses told
5 us, you could put an end to violence against prisoners, in particular when
6 they were from the town where you had been a policeman, or reassure a
7 woman about one of the guard's frightening behaviour toward her. However,
8 Mr. Radic, this generosity was very selective.
9 Testimony clearly showed that the guards in your shift were
10 particularly brutal. You accompanied detainees to the offices where they
11 were to be interrogated, and you took them out after they had been not
12 only interrogated but also beaten. You did not prevent outsiders - among
13 others, Mr. Tadic and Mr. Zigic - from coming into the camp and being
14 violent with the detainees. Several of them died from the beatings
15 administered by the guards in your shift. You rarely took measures to
16 prevent their violence. Such an attitude could only be encouragement for
17 them to continue.
18 In addition, your attitude to several of the women detained in
19 Omarska was completely unacceptable. The evidence against you in this
20 respect is overwhelming. You did not limit yourself to inappropriate
21 gestures, offensive language, or trying to make coinage of your favours.
22 You fondled them. You raped them too. Considering the vulnerability of
23 the victims, the deliberately inflicted pain they suffered, and the state
24 of anxiety in which you kept the women detainees in Omarska, the Chamber
25 characterises the acts of sexual violence you committed as acts of torture
1 within the meaning of Article 3 of the Statute.
2 The Chamber thus finds you guilty of the crime against humanity,
3 persecution; and the war crimes murder and torture.
4 Please be seated, Mr. Radic.
5 [The accused Radic sits down]
6 Mr. Zigic, please rise.
7 [The accused Zigic stands up]
8 The crimes ascribed to you are different from those ascribed to
9 your co-accused because they occurred not only at Omarska but at Keraterm
10 and Trnopolje as well.
11 Many witnesses testified to your violent behaviour even against
12 those who, barely a few days earlier, had been your close friends. The
13 facts are absolutely clear. Sometimes alone, sometimes with others like
14 you, you would grab hold of a detainee. Sometimes you would demand money,
15 but that was not enough to satisfy you.
16 You enjoyed using force, you enjoyed inflicting pain, you enjoyed
17 pushing the detainees to the limits of their ability to endure suffering
18 and did not hesitate to use weapons sometimes, such as a rod with a metal
19 ball attached to one end. You also enjoyed humiliating detainees by
20 forcing them to lap up water like dogs or to drink their own blood. You
21 persisted in such action when, for example, you forced a detainee to run
22 with a machine-gun while beating him. Your violence was so extreme that a
23 report denouncing you was prepared.
24 In respect of the crimes of which you stand accused, the Chamber
25 wished to distinguish between those ascribable to you and those for which
1 doubt remains. You are therefore acquitted of the incident known as the
2 "Room 3 massacre" at Keraterm camp and several others as well.
3 Still, the list of your victims about whom no reasonable doubt
4 persists is long, very long, Mr. Zigic.
5 Although you may have abused alcohol and tranquilisers, you were
6 not in such a state of acute intoxication at the time of the facts that
7 your ability to act was gone.
8 In its Judgement, the Chamber finds you guilty of the crime
9 against humanity, persecution; and the war crimes torture, murder, and
10 cruel treatment.
11 You may be seated, Mr. Zigic.
12 [The accused Zigic sits down]
13 Mr. Prcac, would you please rise.
14 [The accused Prcac stands up]
15 At almost 55 years of age, you were retired when on 29 April 1992
16 you were mobilised in order for you to resume your profession as a police
17 forensic specialist at the Omarska Police Station. You were assigned to
18 Omarska camp on 14 July where you remained until the 6th of August, 1992.
19 The core issue, where you were concerned, was to determine your position
20 at the camp. According to the Prosecution, you were the deputy commander,
21 whereas the Defence alleged that you were only an administrator with no
23 The witnesses confirmed that you spent most of your time in a room
24 in the administrative building. The room, however, was only a few metres
25 from the offices in which the detainees were interrogated. You had free
1 movement within the camp and were frequently seen carrying lists which
2 were used to call the detainees so that they could be moved from one
3 location in the camp to another, in particular, when they were to be
4 interrogated or when transfers from Omarska camp to another camp or
5 another destination were being organised.
6 The guards turned to you when problems arose. For example, they
7 asked you for permission to take out a detainee from the "white house."
8 The detainees saw you as the camp's deputy commander. The Chamber finds
9 that no proof was offered as to your exact position but notes that you
10 were fully aware of the violence in the camp and of the crimes being
11 committed there. Nonetheless, you almost never intervened but performed
12 your duties diligently, thereby actively contributing to the system of
13 persecution which had been set up.
14 The Chamber finds you guilty of the crime against humanity,
15 persecution; and the war crimes murder and torture. You may be seated,
16 Mr. Prcac.
17 [The accused Prcac sits down]
18 As Berthold Brecht has written, "The womb from which the vile
19 beast emerged is still fertile." We must give the lie to Brecht. Justice
20 can contribute to this end through the measure of judgements it
22 Each individual situation is unique. In determining the sentence
23 each of you deserves, we of course took into account the gravity of the
24 crimes respectively ascribed to you.
25 Furthermore, we wished to state clearly three elements which we
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 find decisive for establishing what sentence is to be pronounced.
2 The first relates to the combination of an accused's position in
3 the chain of command and his physical participation in the crimes. The
4 second is the need to bring comfort to the victims and to discourage any
5 desire for revenge, because as the Chinese proverb says so
6 judiciously, "If, if you are seeking vengeance, dig two graves." The
7 third, however, produces an opposite effect and is the observation that,
8 as regards the crimes committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia,
9 and in Prijedor in particular, there are certainly people whose individual
10 responsibility is much greater than your own. This element unquestionably
11 plays a role in mitigating sentence.
12 For all the reasons we have just stated and which are set out in
13 detail in the Judgement, this Chamber convicts each of you as a member of
14 a criminal enterprise for the crimes committed in Omarska and Mr. Zigic,
15 alone, for the crimes committed in Keraterm and Trnopolje and pronounces
16 the following sentences on you. I ask all the accused to rise.
17 [The accused stand up]
18 Mr. Kvocka, the Chamber sentences you to seven years in prison.
19 Mr. Kos, the Chamber sentences you to six years in prison. Mr. Radic, the
20 Chamber sentences you to 20 years in prison. Mr. Zigic, the Chamber
21 sentences you to 25 years in prison. Mr. Prcac, the Chamber sentences you
22 to five years in prison.
23 The Tribunal stands adjourned.
24 --- Whereupon the Judgement adjourned at 3.35 p.m.