1 Tuesday, 13 July, 1999
2 (Initial Appearance)
3 (Open session)
4 (The accused entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.34 p.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
7 Case IT-95-8-PT, the Prosecutor versus Dragan
9 JUDGE MAY: Appearances, please.
10 MR. RYNEVELD: If it please the Court, Dirk
11 Ryneveld on behalf of the Prosecutor, and with me is
12 Kapila Waidyaratne, and we're prepared to proceed this
14 MR. VUCICEVIC: May it please the Court, on
15 behalf of the accused -- okay now?
16 May it please the Court, on behalf of the
17 accused, Dusan Vucicevic of Chicago, and I'm indeed
18 privileged to be before this Trial Chamber, especially
19 before the Presiding Judge, Judge May. It's going to
20 be here, Judge May, and we're looking forward to
21 justice, a swift kind of justice, Your Honour. And the
22 Honourable Judges of this Trial Chamber, I would ask
23 you for a speedy trial for my client.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
25 The purpose of this appearance is for an
1 initial appearance which has been adjourned, and it's
2 basically for the accused to plead to the indictment.
3 Now, we have had an application from the
4 Prosecution to amend the indictment in relation to
5 correcting the spelling of the name of the accused, and
6 also to amend the place and date of birth.
7 Mr. Ryneveld, is that right?
8 MR. RYNEVELD: That's absolutely correct,
9 Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Mr. Vucicevic, any --
11 MR. VUCICEVIC: Defence has no objection to
12 those requests to correct the technicalities of the
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well, thank you. In that
15 case, the indictment will be amended accordingly.
16 Before the indictment is put, the Trial
17 Chamber must be satisfied firstly that the accused has
18 received a copy of it in a language which he
19 understands, and that his counsel has had the
20 opportunity of going through it with him, and that he
21 understands its contents.
22 Mr. Vucicevic, may we take it that that has
23 all been done?
24 MR. VUCICEVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: While you're on your feet, as you
1 know, the accused does have the right to have the
2 indictment read out to him in open court in full, but
3 he can also waive that right, and we would ask you what
4 the position is here.
5 MR. VUCICEVIC: I have not consulted my
6 client about it. Your Honour, if you would indulge me
7 for a second.
8 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to go and ask
9 him if he wants it read out or whether we can just go
10 straight to the counts.
11 MR. VUCICEVIC: Thank you, I will.
12 Your Honour, we would prefer the indictment
13 read in open court.
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let that be done.
15 (Trial Chamber confers)
16 THE REGISTRAR: Richard J. Goldstone,
17 Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for
18 the former Yugoslavia, pursuant to his authority under
19 Article 18 of the Statute of the International Criminal
20 Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (hereinafter "the
21 Statute"), charges:
22 From about 24 May to about 30 August, 1992,
23 Serb forces unlawfully seized and confined more than
24 3.000 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from the
25 opstina Prijedor, in the Republic of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in inhumane conditions, under armed
2 guards, in the Keraterm "camp", located in a former
3 ceramics factory and storage area complex located just
4 outside the town of Prijedor. As set forth below,
5 detainees at Keraterm camp were killed, sexually
6 assaulted, tortured, beaten, and otherwise subjected to
7 cruel and inhuman treatment.
8 Unless otherwise specified, all acts and
9 omissions set forth in this indictment took place
10 between 24 May and 30 August 1992.
11 At all times relevant to this indictment, a
12 state of armed conflict and partial occupation existed
13 in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 All acts or omissions set forth as grave
15 breaches recognised by Article 2 of the Statute and
16 violations of the laws or customs of war pursuant to
17 Article 3 of the Statute occurred during that armed
18 conflict and partial occupation.
19 All of the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
20 detainees at Keraterm camp, and the Bosnian Muslims and
21 Croats of the opstina Prijedor referred to in this
22 indictment were, at all relevant times, persons
23 protected by the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
24 All of the accused in this indictment were
25 required to abide by the mandate of the laws and
1 customs governing the conduct of armed conflict,
2 including the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
3 In each paragraph charging torture, the acts
4 were committed by, or at the instigation of, or with
5 the consent or acquiescence of, an official or person
6 acting in an official capacity, and for one or more of
7 the following purposes: To obtain information or a
8 confession from the victim or a third person; to punish
9 the victim for an act the victim or a third person
10 committed or was suspected of having committed, to
11 intimidate or coerce the victim or a third person;
12 and/or for any reason based upon discrimination of any
14 In each paragraph charging crimes against
15 humanity, crimes recognised by Article 5 of the
16 Statute, the alleged acts or omissions were part of a
17 widespread or large-scale or systematic attack directed
18 against a civilian population.
19 The term "Serb" refers to persons of Serbian
20 descent who were either Bosnian citizens or citizens
21 from any other part of the former Yugoslavia.
22 The Accused:
23 The persons accused in this indictment were
24 commanders, guards, interrogators, and others
25 responsible for the conditions and mistreatment of
1 detainees in Keraterm camp.
2 The following three men were shift commanders
3 who each supervised one of the three shifts of guards
4 that operated the camp. As shift commanders, when on
5 duty, they were in positions of superior authority to
6 all persons within the camp, second only to the camp
7 commander, among which: Dragan Kolundzija a/k/a
8 "Kole", born 19 December 1959, in the town of Bosanski
9 Novi, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 In addition to the accused described above
11 who regularly performed duties in Keraterm camp, others
12 frequently entered the camp and killed, beat or
13 otherwise abused detainees. While they were in the
14 camp, they were subject to the authority of Dusko
15 Sikirica, Damir Dosen, Dragan Fustar, and Dragan
17 Paragraphs 1 through 10 are re-alleged and
18 incorporated into each of the charges set forth below.
20 II. Criminal Responsibility In The Capacity
21 As A Superior Authority.
22 Accused: Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen, Dragan
23 Fustar, and Dragan Kolundzija in their capacity as
25 During the operation of Keraterm camp, the
1 vast majority of the detainees were held in the
2 Keraterm factory building in what were previously four
3 storage areas known as "room 1, room 2, room 3, and
4 room 4." The overcrowded conditions in the rooms were
5 extreme, to the extent that on many occasions the
6 detainees could not lie down. Facilities for personal
7 hygiene were all but nonexistent. The toilet
8 facilities were completely inadequate so that
9 frequently the toilet area was awash in urine and
10 faeces. The detainees were fed starvation rations once
11 a day, with little time to eat. The little water they
12 received was ordinarily foul. Detainees had no changes
13 of clothing and no bedding. They received little or no
14 medical care.
15 On a regular basis, camp guards and others
16 who came to the camp to abuse the detainees, all of
17 whom were subordinate to Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen,
18 Dragan Fustar and Dragan Kolundzija, subjected the
19 detainees to physical violence, constant humiliation,
20 degradation, inhuman conditions, and fear of death.
21 Hundreds of detainees were killed by the guards and
22 others. Severe beatings were commonplace. All manner
23 of weapons were used during these beatings, including
24 wooden batons, metal rods, baseball bats, lengths of
25 thick industrial cable that had metal balls affixed to
1 the end, rifle butts and knives. The killings,
2 beatings, sexual assaults, and other cruel and
3 humiliating actions were committed on every shift and
4 were often inflicted in full view of the other
5 detainees. Many detainees, whose identities are known
6 and unknown, did not survive. The corpses of detainees
7 were piled next to a garbage area adjacent to room 4
8 prior to their removal from the camp.
9 With respect to the acts described above and
10 each act or omission charged hereafter in this
11 indictment, except those charges where one or more of
12 these accused is separately charged, Dusko Sikirica,
13 Damir Dosen, Dragan Fustar, and Dragan Kolundzija knew
14 or had reason to know that persons in positions of
15 subordinate authority to them were about to commit
16 those acts, or had already committed those acts, and
17 failed either to take the necessary and reasonable
18 steps to prevent those acts or to punish the
19 perpetrators after the acts had been committed.
20 Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen, Dragan Fustar,
21 and Dragan Kolundzija are criminally responsible for
22 the killing of Keraterm camp detainees by their
23 respective subordinates and others subject to their
24 authority, including the killings described in
25 paragraphs 14, 15, 17 to 20, 24 and 25, and thereby
2 Count 13.4.1: grave breaches of the Geneva
3 Conventions of 1949, wilful killings, recognised by
4 Articles 2(a) and 7(3) of the Statute;
5 Count 13.4.2: violations of the laws or
6 customs of war, murder, recognised by Articles 3 and
7 7(3) of the Statute and by Article 3(1)(a) of the
8 Geneva Conventions;
9 Count 13.4.3, crimes against humanity,
10 murder, recognised by Articles 5(a) and 7(3) of the
12 Count 13.6: Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen,
13 Dragan Fustar, and Dragan Kolundzija are criminally
14 responsible for the wilful causing of great suffering
15 to all the Keraterm detainees, including those acts or
16 omissions described in paragraphs 14, 16, 19, 20, 23,
17 26 to 29, and 31 to 33 by their respective subordinates
18 and others subject to their authority and thereby
19 committed grave breaches recognised by Article 2(c) and
20 7(3) of the Statute.
21 Count 13.7: Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen,
22 Dragan Fustar, and Dragan Kolundzija are criminally
23 responsible for the commission of outrages upon the
24 personal dignity of all the Keraterm detainees,
25 including those described in paragraphs 14 to 33, by
1 their respective subordinates and others subject to
2 their authority, and thereby committed violations of
3 the laws or customs of war recognised by Articles 3 and
4 7(3) of the Statute and Article 3(1)(c) of the Geneva
6 Count 13.8: Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen,
7 Dragan Fustar, and Dragan Kolundzija are criminally
8 responsible for the acts of their respective
9 subordinates and others subject to their authority, who
10 subjected the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
11 detainees of Keraterm, including those described in
12 paragraphs 14 to 33, to persecution on political,
13 racial, and/or religious grounds, and thereby committed
14 a crime against humanity recognised by Articles 5(h)
15 and 7(3) of the Statute.
16 Count 13.9: Dusko Sikirica, Damir Dosen,
17 Dragan Fustar, and Dragan Kolundzija are criminally
18 responsible for the acts or omissions of their
19 respective subordinates and others subject to their
20 authority, in subjecting the detainees of Keraterm,
21 including those described in paragraphs 14 to 33, to
22 inhumane acts and treatment, and thereby committed a
23 crime against humanity recognised by Article 5(i) and
24 7(3) of the Statute.
25 III: Individual criminal responsibility.
1 Accused, Dragan Kolundzija.
2 14.1: About 20 July, 1992, detainees from an
3 area of the opstina Prijedor known as "Brdo," which
4 included the villages of Hambarine, Carakovo,
5 Rakovcani, Biscani, and Rizvanovici, were brought to
6 Keraterm camp. The detainees from the Brdo area were
7 crowded into room 3. The previous occupants of room 3
8 had earlier been transferred to other rooms.
9 About 24 July 1992, the detainees in Room 3
10 were not allowed out of the room. During the day and
11 early evening, machine guns were set up in front of the
12 rooms. That night soldiers were brought into the camp
13 and formed a semicircle around room 3.
14 Later that night, the guards and soldiers,
15 including Zoran Zigic, began firing into a room with
16 machine guns and heavy calibre guns. The firing
17 continued off and on over a period of several hours,
18 alternating between continuous fire and short bursts of
19 fire. The fire was directed toward room 3. However,
20 some of the bullets went into at least one of the other
21 rooms. On that evening, Dragan Kolundzija was the
22 guard shift commander. He gave orders that the other
23 rooms were not to be fired on. He gave no orders that
24 room 3 was not to be fired on.
25 Dragan Kolundzija, as guard shift commander,
1 Zoran Zigic, and camp guards and others whose
2 identities are unknown, participated in the murder of
3 at least 140 men from the Brdo area detained in Room 3,
4 and thereby committed 14.4.1, a grave breach, wilful
5 killing, recognised by Article 2(a) and 7(1) of the
6 Statute, and, with respect to Dragan Kolundzija, also
7 Article 7(3) of the Statute.
8 Count 14.4.2, a violation of the laws and
9 customs of war, murder, recognised by Articles 3 and
10 7(1) of the Statute, and with respect to Dragan
11 Kolundzija, also Article 7(3) of the Statute, and by
12 Article 3(1)(a) of the Geneva Conventions; and
13 Count 14.4.3: a crime against humanity,
14 murder, recognised by Articles 5(a) and 7(1) of the
15 Statute, and, with respect to Dragan Kolundzija, also
16 Article 7(3) of the Statute.
17 14.5: Dragan Kolundzija, Zoran Zigic and
18 camp guards, and others whose identities are unknown,
19 participated in wounding, by gunfire, approximately 50
20 men from the "Brdo" area detained in room 3, including
21 Safet Crljenkovic, Dervis Drljenkovic, Ramo
22 Crljenkovic, and Alija Hrapic. Dragan Kolundzija, as a
23 superior responsible for the acts of his subordinates
24 and by direct participation, Zoran Zigic, and camp
25 guards and others whose identities are unknown thereby
2 Count 14.5.1: a grave breach, wilfully
3 causing great suffering or serious injury to body or
4 health, recognised by Articles 2(c) and 7(1) of the
5 Statute, and, with respect to Dragan Kolundzija, also
6 Article 7(3) of the Statute;
7 Count 14.5.2, a violation of the laws and
8 customs of war, cruel treatment, recognised by
9 Articles 3 and 7(1), and with respect to Dragan
10 Kolundzija, also 7(3) of the Statute, and by
11 Article 3(1)(a) of the Geneva Conventions; and
12 Count 14.5.3, a crime against humanity,
13 inhumane acts, recognised by Articles 5(i) and 7(1) of
14 the Statute, and, with respect Dragan Kolundzija, also
15 Article 7(3) of the Statute.
16 JUDGE MAY: That concludes the indictment as
17 far as the accused is concerned. Thank you.
18 Dragan Kolundzija, would you stand, please.
19 I'm now going to put the counts of the
20 indictment to you for you to plead to them. In each
21 case, kindly plead guilty or not guilty to each, and
22 confine your answers to that.
23 The first counts, as you've heard, allege
24 criminal responsibility in your capacity as a
25 superior. The first three counts are under paragraph
1 13 of the indictment and relate to the killing of
2 detainees at the Keraterm camp. It is alleged that
3 you, Dusica Sikirica, Damir Dosen, and Dragan Fustar
4 were criminally responsible, in your capacity as
5 superiors, for the killing of detainees by your
6 subordinates and others subject to your authority, and
7 that you thereby committed the following offences.
8 The first count alleges grave breaches of the
9 Geneva Conventions of 1949, wilful killings, recognised
10 by Articles 2(a) and 7(3) of the Statute of the
11 Tribunal. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
12 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) I plead not
14 JUDGE MAY: The next count alleges violations
15 of the laws or customs of war, murder, recognised by
16 Articles 3 and 7(3) of the Statute and by
17 Article (3)(1)(a) of the Geneva Conventions. How do
18 you plead, guilty or not guilty?
19 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
20 JUDGE MAY: The third count alleges crimes
21 against humanity, murder, recognised by Articles 5(a)
22 and 7(3) of the Statute. How do you plead, guilty or
23 not guilty?
24 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
25 JUDGE MAY: The next four counts are also
1 under paragraph 13, and they relate to the ill
2 treatment of detainees at the camp. At paragraph
3 13(6), the count alleges that Dusko Sikirica, Damir
4 Dosen, Dragan Fustar, and you were criminally
5 responsible for wilfully causing great suffering to all
6 the Keraterm detainees by your subordinates and others
7 subject to your authority, and you thereby committed
8 grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions recognised by
9 Articles 2(c) and 7(3) of the Statute. How do you
10 plead, guilty or not guilty?
11 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
12 JUDGE MAY: The next count alleges that you
13 and the others named already were criminally
14 responsible for the commission of outrages upon
15 personal dignity of all the Keraterm detainees by your
16 subordinates and others subject to your authority, and
17 you thereby committed violations of the laws or customs
18 of war recognised by Articles 3 and 7(3) of the Statute
19 and Article 3(1)(c) of the Geneva Conventions. How do
20 you plead, guilty or not guilty?
21 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
22 JUDGE MAY: The next count alleges that you
23 and the others already named were criminally
24 responsible for the acts of your subordinates and
25 others subject to your authority who subjected the
1 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croat detainees at Keraterm
2 to persecution on political, racial, and/or religious
3 grounds, and you thereby committed a crime against
4 humanity, recognised by Articles 5(h) and 7(3) of the
5 Statute. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
6 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
7 JUDGE MAY: The next count alleges that you
8 and the others already named were criminally
9 responsible for the acts or omissions of your
10 subordinates and others subject to your authority in
11 subjecting the detainees of Keraterm to inhumane acts
12 and treatment, and thereby you committed a crime
13 against humanity recognised by Articles 5(i) and 7(3)
14 of the Statute. How do you plead, guilty or not
16 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
17 JUDGE MAY: The remaining counts allege
18 individual criminal responsibility. They are pleaded
19 in paragraph 14. They relate to events which took
20 place on or about the 24th of July, 1992, in the
21 Keraterm camp.
22 In paragraph 14(4), it is alleged that you,
23 as guard shift commander, Zoran Zigic, camp guards, and
24 others whose identities are unknown, participated in
25 the murder of at least 140 men from the Brdo area
1 detained in room 3. It is alleged that you, being a
2 superior responsible for the acts of your subordinates,
3 and by direct participation, thereby committed the
4 following offences:
5 14.4.1: a grave breach, wilful killing,
6 recognised by Articles 2(a) and 7(1) and 7(3) of the
7 Statute. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
8 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
9 JUDGE MAY: The next count alleges a
10 violation of the laws and customs of war, murder,
11 recognised by Articles 3, 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute,
12 and Article 3(1)(a) of the Geneva Conventions. How do
13 you plead, guilty or not guilty?
14 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
15 JUDGE MAY: The next count alleges a crime
16 against humanity, murder recognised by Articles 5(a),
17 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute. How do you plead, guilty
18 or not guilty?
19 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
20 JUDGE MAY: The next counts allege that you
21 and Zoran Zigic and camp guards and others whose
22 identity are unknown, participated in wounding, by
23 gunfire, approximately 50 men from the "Brdo" area
24 detained in Room 3. You, as a superior responsible for
25 the acts of your subordinates, and by direct
1 participation have thereby committed the following
3 14.5.1: a grave breach, wilfully causing
4 great suffering or serious injury to body or health,
5 recognised by Articles 2(c), 7(1), and 7(3) of the
6 Statute. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?
7 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
8 JUDGE MAY: The next count, a violation of
9 the laws and customs of war, cruel treatment,
10 recognised by Articles 3, 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute,
11 and Article 3(1)(a) of the Geneva Conventions. How do
12 you plead, guilty or not guilty?
13 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
14 JUDGE MAY: The next count alleges a crime
15 against humanity, inhumane acts, recognised by Articles
16 5(i), 7(1), and 7(3) of the Statute. How do you plead,
17 guilty or not guilty?
18 THE ACCUSED: (Interpretation) Not guilty.
19 JUDGE MAY: That is all, as far as the
20 indictment is concerned, and you may sit down.
21 There are various matters I should deal
22 with, I am reminded by the legal officer, concerned with
23 formal orders as to disclosure, and preliminary
24 motions. First of all, that the Prosecution should
25 disclose all supporting material and any statements of
1 the accused in a language the accused understands
2 within 30 days; that is, by the 12th of August. And
3 any preliminary motions under Rule 72 must be filed
4 within 30 days of that disclosure.
5 There are various applications, Mr. Ryneveld,
6 we understand, in relation to the amending of the
8 MR. RYNEVELD: There are indeed, Your
10 JUDGE MAY: Clearly, those orders which I've
11 made will have to be followed despite any applications
12 there may be about amendment to the indictment. The
13 position is this: That this Trial Chamber will be here
14 until the 6th of August, but thereafter we shall be in
15 recess for a month. Now, if there are any matters
16 which have to be dealt with, they should be dealt with,
17 if possible, before then, bearing in mind that we shall
18 be dealing with the trial of another case. So time is
20 MR. RYNEVELD: I appreciate that. Thank you,
21 Mr. President. I understand that the disclosure
22 materials are ready now, and I'm sure that those
23 matters can be dealt with as expeditiously as
25 The other matters which are extant depend, of
1 course, on the availability and the time of rulings for
2 matters that are ex parte. There are some matters yet
3 outstanding concerning amendment.
4 JUDGE MAY: Are they before the confirming
6 MR. RYNEVELD: They are indeed, yes,
7 Mr. President. We are awaiting his pleasure.
8 JUDGE MAY: So there are no other matters as
9 far as the Prosecution are concerned?
10 MR. RYNEVELD: If I just may consult with my
11 colleague, just to make sure, out of an abundance of
13 No matters before this Chamber at this time.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE MAY: We will need to fix a date for a
16 Status Conference, which must be held within the next
17 120 days. We would hope to hear it rather before then
18 in any event.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: I neglected to point out I am
20 here on behalf of Mr. Niemann, who is out of the
21 country, and it may well be that Mr. Niemann will
22 certainly be there for a status conference, but
23 whatever date the court chooses is acceptable to the
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. I turn to the
1 Defence. Mr. Vucicevic, are there any matters you want
2 to raise today?
3 MR. VUCICEVIC: Your Honour, I'm somewhat
4 surprised with the Prosecutor's statement, that maybe
5 something has been submitted to the confirming Judge in
6 the interim, that I have not received a copy. But my
7 understanding is that the motion asking for an amended
8 indictment and rejoinder of the accused has been
9 rejected and I haven't received any other copy. I'm of
10 the understanding that the confirming Judge has advised
11 that any matters as to amendment be brought before this
12 Chamber or the other chamber, as you know, hearing the
13 other cases where the Prosecution has asked the
14 rejoinder. So I was indeed very happy that you advised
15 the Prosecutor to bring any amendments before this
16 Chamber having heard an indictment that is rather,
17 indeed, a very broad attempt to charge all the
18 participants in the actions that have happened in the
19 Keraterm Camp. And I would like to stress that if
20 there was ever a good Samaritan, so far that had
21 appeared before this court, that would be this
22 gentleman here, Mr. Dragan Kolundzija. And what I'm
23 stating from the statements that were enclosed as to
24 the amended complaint that was thus far rejected.
25 I would ask the Prosecutor to, in his
1 attempt, wherever he wishes to bring this, to specify
2 what were the acts of the accused so as to help this
3 Trial Chamber and allow us to prepare a proper
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll come to that in due
6 course. What we'll do is fix a date for another status
7 conference, and perhaps the legal officer could assist
9 (Trial Chamber confers)
10 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn this case until the
11 next status conference, which will be on Tuesday, the
12 28th of September, at 2.30 in the afternoon.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
14 3.12 p.m., to be reconvened on
15 Tuesday, the 28th day of September,
16 1999, at 2.30 p.m.