1 Thursday, 6 March 2003
2 [Further Appearance]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Good morning, everyone.
7 Madam Registrar, be kind enough to call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-96-23/2-I, the Prosecutor versus
9 Radovan Stankovic.
10 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. For the record,
11 could we have the appearances of the parties, please. The Prosecution,
13 MR. WUBBEN: Good morning, Your Honour. My name is Jan Wubben,
14 Senior Trial Attorney recently assigned to this case. At my side you will
15 see Daryl Mundis, attorney, and Ms. Djurdja Mirkovic, she's case manager.
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you very much. And for the defence.
17 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honour, I am attorney Milenko Radovic from
18 Foca, Srbinje, and I am Defence counsel for Mr. Radovan Stankovic.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 I should now like to address Mr. Stankovic. Can you hear me in a
21 language you understand?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I can hear you very well, and
23 for the moment, Mr. Mahdi, we're on the same wavelength.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] [Interpretation] Thank you very
25 much. I apologise; I am Judge El Mahdi, as Pre-Trial Judge appointed by
1 order on the 23rd of July, 2002.
2 Further to the Scheduling Order of the 28th of February, 2003,
3 today's hearing will be devoted both to a second initial appearance of the
4 accused following the amendment to the indictment granted by decision of
5 the Chamber of the 23rd of February, 2003, followed by a Status Conference
6 pursuant to Rule 65 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, with a
7 view to reviewing the progress made in the preparation of the trial.
8 So we begin with the further appearance.
9 I should like Mr. Stankovic to follow carefully this part of the
10 proceedings, which is rather a delicate part of today's hearing.
11 Mr. Stankovic, the point is to convey to you and familiarise you
12 with the amended indictment, and this amendment was approved by the
13 Chamber in order to allow you to have a better understanding of the
14 contents of that indictment, because, I wish to remind you, that the
15 original indictment had several accused, and it could lead to some
16 confusion. So for you to understand better the charges brought against
17 you, the Chamber decided to grant the Prosecution the possibility to amend
18 the indictment, and we're here today to convey to you in detail the
19 contents of that indictment, this indictment, which is in a sense a
20 reorganised version of the original indictment.
21 And I would like you to tell me, please, whether you would like
22 the indictment to be read to you in its entirety or, rather, should we
23 focus on the charges and the counts? You have every right to require that
24 the indictment be read to you in total, or, rather, to opt for the charges
25 and counts. It is up to you to choose between these two possibilities.
1 Perhaps you should like to confer with your counsel.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am considering a way of saving
3 time so as to avoid reading the whole indictment, but I would like to make
4 some comments, because there are things that are not logical here.
5 I have read this indictment --
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Stankovic. I'm
7 sorry for interrupting you. We will have plenty of time to discuss the
8 contents. We are now talking about the form, the formal matter as
9 required by the Rules. The Rules require that the indictment be read to
10 you, and you have the possibility of asking for the indictment to be read
11 to you in extenso or, rather, as I suggest, that we concentrate on the
12 charges and the counts.
13 Of course, the indictment will be made available to you and has
14 already been made available to you; hasn't it?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I see, just these two, nothing
16 more than that; either the entire indictment or just the counts of the
17 indictment. As far as I'm concerned, there's no need to read the
18 indictment, because I've read it. I don't want to waste any time, and I
19 am able to plead.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. I haven't
21 quite understood. Did you say that you were mistreated here?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I don't want to mistreat you.
23 I don't want to bother you.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] But I assure you that justice has
25 plenty of patience, and it is one of the essential and principal functions
1 of justice that it be patient, that it hear, that it opens its heart to
2 all ideas and to give you every possibility of expressing yourself.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In this case, I think that justice
4 cannot be achieved in this particular case, but we'll come to that later.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Everyone is doing his best.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please be kind enough to read to us the
7 charges and the counts, please. Thank you very much. Just a moment,
9 I should like to make it clear, Mr. Stankovic, that I prefer that
10 we do not focus exclusively on the new counts but that we convey to you
11 all the counts at the same time so that you should be in a position to
12 fully appreciate the extent of the charges made against you. Thank you.
13 Madam, please, will you read it.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excuse me. So if the counts of the
15 indictment have to be read, then I would like the whole indictment to be
16 read, because I thought that something else would be possible, that we
17 don't read the indictment at all, because I am familiar with it, I have it
18 in front of me. But if we have to read a part of it, I would prefer that
19 the whole be read.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] You have absolute every right to
21 require that the whole indictment be read, but if you have the indictment
22 in front of you ...
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I also have the counts in front of
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So if the counts have to be read,
2 let the entire indictment be read.
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well. That is
4 your right.
5 Madam Registrar, will you please read the indictment in its
6 entirety, including the first page. Thank you.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The Prosecutor of the Tribunal against Radovan
8 Stankovic. Second amended indictment.
9 The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the
10 Former Yugoslavia, pursuant to her authority under Article 18 of the
11 Statute of the Tribunal, charges Radovan Stankovic with crimes against
12 humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war, as set forth below.
14 The city and municipality of Foca are located south-east of
15 Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina and borders Serbia and Montenegro.
16 According to the 1991 census, the population of Foca consisted of 40.513
17 persons with 51.6 per cent Muslim, 45.3 per cent Serbian, and 3.1 per cent
18 others. Serb forces launched an extensive attack targeting the non-Serb
19 civilian population, with the first military actions in the town of Foca
20 on 8 April 1992. The Serb forces, supported by artillery and heavy
21 weapons, proceeded to take over Foca, section by section. The takeover of
22 Foca town was complete by 16 or 17 April 1992. The surrounding villages
23 continued to be under siege until mid-July 1992.
24 Once towns and villages were securely in their control, Serb
25 military, police, paramilitaries, and sometimes even Serb villagers
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 started ransacking or burning Muslim houses and apartments and rounding up
2 and capturing Muslims. Some Muslims were beaten or killed in the process.
3 The Serb forces separated the non-Serb men from the women. The
4 Foca Kazneno-Popravni Dom (hereinafter KP Dom), was one of the largest
5 prison facilities in the former Republic of Yugoslavia, was the primary
6 detention facility for men in Foca. Some men spent as much as two and a
7 half years in detention for no reason other than their being Muslim.
8 Muslim women and children and the elderly were detained in houses,
9 apartments and motels in the town of Foca or in the surrounding villages
10 or at short and long-term detention centres, such as Buk Bijela, Foca
11 High School, and Partizan Sports Hall. These women and girls had to live
12 in intolerably unhygienic conditions, where they were mistreated in many
13 ways, including, for many of them, being raped repeatedly.
14 Some of these women and girls were taken out of these larger
15 detention centres to privately owned apartments and houses, such as ulica
16 Osmana Dzikica 16, Karaman's House, or the house in Trnovace, where they
17 were forced to cook, clean, and serve the residents who were Serb
18 soldiers. These women and girls were also subjected to repeated sexual
19 assaults. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other
20 organisations, unaware of these detention facilities, did not intervene.
21 Those detainees, therefore, had no possibility of release or exchange.
22 The accused.
23 Radovan Stankovic, aka Rasa, son of Todor, born on 10 March, 1969,
24 in the village of Trebica, municipality of Foca, was a permanent resident
25 of Miljevina. Radovan Stankovic was a soldier in the Miljevina battalion
1 of the Foca Tactical Brigade. The Miljevina battalion was commanded by
2 Pero Elez during the times relevant to the indictment. Radovan Stankovic
3 was in charge of Karaman's House in Miljevina.
4 General allegations.
5 At all times relevant to this indictment, an armed conflict
6 existed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the territory of the former
8 At all times relevant to this indictment, the accused was required
9 to abide by the laws or customs governing the conduct of war.
10 Unless otherwise set forth below, all acts and omissions set forth
11 in this indictment took place between April 1992 and November 1992.
12 In each count charging crimes against humanity, a crime recognised
13 by Article 5 of the Statute of the Tribunal, the acts or omissions were
14 part of a widespread or large-scale or systematic attack against a
15 civilian population, specifically the Muslim population of the
16 municipality of Foca.
17 Witnesses and victims are identified in this indictment using code
18 names or pseudonyms such as FWS-87 or initials, for example, DB.
19 The accused is individually responsible for the crimes charged
20 against him in this indictment pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of
21 the Tribunal. Individual criminal responsibility includes committing,
22 planning, instigating, ordering or aiding and abetting in the planning,
23 preparation or execution of any acts or omissions set forth below.
24 Counts 1 to 4.
25 Enslavement and rape of FWS-75, FWS-87, FWS-132, FWS-190, AS, AB,
1 JB, JG and other women in Karaman's House.
2 Pero Elez, a Serb paramilitary leader in a position of regional
3 authority, commanded the Miljevina battalion which was subordinated to the
4 Foca tactical brigade. The Miljevina battalion was headquartered in the
5 Miljevina Motel. Some of the soldiers under Elez's command, including the
6 accused Radovan Stankovic, used the abandoned house of a Muslim, Nusret
7 Karaman, as a residence. On or about 3 August 1992, Dragoljub Kunarac, in
8 concert with Pero Elez, took FWS-75, FWS-87, FWS-50, and DB, as set forth
9 in paragraph 5.1 infra, from ulica Osmana Dzikica number 16 to Miljevina,
10 where they were handed over to Pero Elez and his men who in turn
11 transferred them to Karaman's House. Karaman's House is close to the
12 headquarters of the battalion. Later on, other women and girls were
13 detained at Karaman's House. Some were as young as 12 and 14 years of
14 age. The number of women and girls detained at Karaman's House between on
15 or about 3 August 1992 and until around 30 October 1992 totaled at least
16 nine, including FWS-75, FWS-87, FWS-132, FWS-190, AS, AB, JB, JG and as
17 set forth infra in paragraphs 5.1 to 5.4, DB from on or about 3 August
18 1992 through the end of September 1992. Radovan Stankovic together with
19 at least one other Serb soldier, Nikola Brcic, was in charge of Karaman's
20 house where Muslim women were detained and sexually assaulted from at
21 least on or about 3 August 1992 until on or about 30 October 1992.
22 In contrast to larger detention facilities such as Partizan Sports
23 Hall, the detainees at Karaman's House had sufficient food. They were not
24 guarded or locked inside the house. The detainees even had a key they
25 could use to lock the door and prevent any soldiers not belonging to Pero
1 Elez's group from entering. The detainees were also given the telephone
2 number of the Miljevina Motel, and were told that they should call this
3 number if any soldier without authorisation tried to enter the house.
4 When the women did call this number, either Radovan Stankovic or Pero Elez
5 would come to prevent other persons from entering the house. Although the
6 detainees were not guarded, they could not escape; they had nowhere to go
7 as they were surrounded by Serb soldiers and civilians.
8 FWS-75, FWS-87, and other girls and women were detained in
9 Karaman's House between on or about 3 August 1992 until on or about 30
10 October 1992. Radovan Stankovic and the Serb soldiers living in the house
11 treated the women and girls as their personal property.
12 During the entire period of their detention at Karaman's House,
13 FWS-75, FWS-87, and the other female detainees were subjected to repeated
14 rapes and sexual assaults at night. All the perpetrators were Serb
15 soldiers who belonged to Pero Elez's group. Among the soldiers who
16 frequently raped FWS-87, vaginal and anal penetration, was Radovan
18 The first time FWS-75 and FWS-87 were raped in Karaman's House was
19 on or about 3 August 1992, shortly after their arrival. An unidentified
20 soldier raped FWS-75, vaginal penetration, while Radovan Stankovic raped
21 FWS-87 that day.
22 In addition to the rapes and other sexual assaults, the accused
23 regularly ordered all the female detainees to work for him and the other
24 Serb soldiers, washing uniforms, cooking and cleaning the house. FWS-87
25 was taken three times from Karaman's House to other buildings in
1 Miljevina. On these occasions, she was forced to clean rooms in the
2 buildings, cook for the soldiers, and paint the window frames. On one of
3 three occasions when she was taken out with another woman, two Montenegrin
4 soldiers sexually assaulted both women.
5 At Karaman's House, the detainees constantly feared for their
6 lives. If any of the women or girls refused to obey orders, they would be
7 beaten. Soldiers often told the women that they would be killed after the
8 soldiers were finished with them because they knew too much. FWS-87 felt
9 suicidal during the entire time of her detention in Karaman's House.
10 By the foregoing acts and omissions, Radovan Stankovic committed:
11 Count 1: Enslavement, a crime against humanity, punishable under
12 Article 5(c) of the Statute of the Tribunal.
13 Count 2 --
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
15 Mr. Stankovic, how do you plead to this count; guilty or not
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I cannot plead regarding this
18 amended indictment for the following reasons, and I will explain.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, wait a moment,
20 please. We are in a stage in the proceedings where you simply have to
21 respond to the counts that are being read. You will have plenty of time
22 to present to the Chamber your defence in every aspect. This is simply to
23 familiarise you with the counts, to inform you of the charges, and it is
24 up to you to say whether you are guilty or not guilty. However, all means
25 of defence are allowed to you, but it is not at this stage of the
1 proceedings nor at this hearing, which is devoted to a further initial
2 appearance, is it possible to develop your defence. I understand that you
3 have many defences, but you will have plenty of time to present them.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Mahdi. I understand
6 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] So we have the first count. And
7 how do you plead; guilty or not guilty?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am saying I cannot plead regarding
9 this indictment, and the reasons are the following: I request that the
10 character of the conflict in the internationally recognised country of
11 Yugoslavia be defined. And allow me -- allow me for a moment. I'll
12 explain everything.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, you have every
14 right to plead within a time period of 30 days. If you're not able to
15 plead today, you don't have to. All I'm asking you to do is to think
16 carefully, and in consultation with your counsel, if you prefer, but you
17 must simply respond, and I repeat, I understand you will have many means
18 of defence, but the -- now all you have to do is to say, "I plead guilty,"
19 or, "I plead not guilty." That's all that we're asking of you at this
20 stage. You will have plenty of time and every possible possibility to
21 develop your means of defence.
22 Do you understand what I'm saying?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do. But allow me to say
24 something. I do not like to feel like a monkey and to say simply, "I'm
25 guilty," or, "I'm not guilty," or to keep quiet, because, please, since
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you have publicly indicted me, then allow me to defend myself publicly
3 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, we're not in the
4 stage of the Defence case.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. Mahdi, and that is
6 why I'm saying that I cannot plead at this stage for the following
7 reasons, and allow me to give you the reasons. I am not able to plead,
8 and allow me to explain --
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, you will have
10 plenty of time to present your defences but today and during this hearing
11 it is not the right time to do that according to the Rules of Procedure.
12 We all have those Rules of Procedure. And according to those Rules --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They are your rules.
14 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. They are rules
15 of the international community. All I can tell you is that we are asking
16 you, if you wish, to plead. You can also say that you require some time
17 to think it over. If you do not enter a plea on the counts, I have to
18 tell you that I will do so on your behalf, and I will enter a plea of not
19 guilty, which is normal.
20 I'd like you to be quite certain that you are innocent --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Listen --
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Listen, Mr. Stankovic. You are
23 innocent until proven guilty, you are innocent, and no one can tell you
24 that the indictment was read, and so on and so forth. No. You enjoy a
25 presumption of innocence and no one can violate that. Until the opposite
1 verdict has been brought, you are innocent, and I wish to underline that
2 point because it is fundamental.
3 So within that context, I would like you to understand the
4 procedure, and the procedure is to inform you of the allegations against
5 you. Anyone can be charged, but does that mean that he is guilty?
6 Personally - and this is common knowledge - no one can be considered
7 guilty except by judgement of a court. It is not because a party has
8 alleged that certain facts have been committed by someone that that person
9 is considered guilty. Not at all. You are innocent until the opposite is
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. May I say something now?
12 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do. But do you
13 understand my point?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. So I do not wish to enter a
15 plea of guilty or not guilty, the way you're putting it. I have said that
16 I cannot, and I repeat again, I cannot enter a plea now on the basis of
17 this indictment for the following reasons: I require --
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- a definition of the character of
20 the conflict in an internationally recognised state of Yugoslavia. And
21 why I'm asking for that, so that inadequate terms should not be used, such
22 as "occupation" that is to be found in this indictment.
23 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic, I have to stop
24 you. You say that you're not capable of entering a plea of -- on the
25 basis of this indictment. The indictment will be read to the end. You
1 will have plenty of time to think it over, and we will have another
2 hearing, a further initial appearance. And if you fail from pleading, I'm
3 telling you that I am -- I will be obliged to enter a plea of not guilty
4 on your behalf, and that is all.
5 The problem is that you believe that this indictment condemns you.
6 No. That's not the truth. That's not true. You will have plenty of time
7 to present your defences legally and in every other way.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand that very well.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We will
10 continue accordingly. So madam, please will you read the whole
11 indictment, and we will state that Mr. Stankovic will not be entering a
12 plea today and that he requires a time for reflection.
13 You have come to count 1.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Count 2: Rape, a crime against humanity
15 punishable under Article 5(g) of the Statute of the Tribunal.
16 Count 3: Rape, a violation of the laws or customs of war,
17 punishable under Article 3 of the Statute of the Tribunal.
18 Count 4: Outrages upon personal dignity, a violation of the laws
19 or customs of war, punishable under Article 3 of the Statute of the
21 Counts 5 to 8: Rape and enslavement of DB.
22 On or about 3 August 1992, Dragoljub Kunarac, in concert with Pero
23 Elez, took DB, along with FWS-75, FWS-87, FWS-50, as set forth in
24 paragraph 4.1 supra, from ulica Osmana Dzikica number 16 to Miljevina,
25 where they were handed over to Pero Elez and his men, who in turn
1 transferred them to Karaman's House. Karaman's House is close to the
2 headquarters of the battalion. DB and other women and girls were detained
3 at Karaman's House as described in paragraphs 4.1 to 4.7 supra.
4 During the entire period of her detention at Karaman's House, DB,
5 along with the other female detainees were subjected to repeated rapes and
6 sexual assaults at night. All the perpetrators were Serb soldiers who
7 belonged to Pero Elez's group. Among the soldiers who frequently raped
8 DB, vaginal and anal penetration, was Radovan Stankovic.
9 The first time DB was raped in Karaman's House was on or about 3
10 August 1992, shortly after her arrival, when she was raped by Radovan
11 Stankovic that day.
12 Radovan Stankovic took DB away from Karaman's House towards the
13 end of September 1992. During the period that she remained in Karaman's
14 House, that is, from on or about 3 August 1992 through the end of
15 September 1992, DB was subjected to the treatment described in paragraphs
16 4.1 to 4.7 and the Prosecution, by reference, incorporates and reiterates
17 the allegations concerning DB's treatment by Radovan Stankovic in
18 Karaman's House during this time period.
19 After removing DB from Karaman's House in late September 1992,
20 Radovan Stankovic first took DB to an apartment in Miljevina for about ten
21 days, and then he moved her to an apartment in the Lepa Brena apartment
22 block in Foca. During this entire time, Radovan Stankovic treated DB as
23 his personal property, forcing her to work and subjecting her to repeated
24 sexual assaults.
25 Radovan Stankovic released DB to Montenegro on 3 November 1992.
1 By the foregoing acts and omissions, Radovan Stankovic committed:
2 Count 5: Enslavement, a crime against humanity punishable under
3 Article 5(c) of the Statute of the Tribunal.
4 Count 6: Rape, a crime against humanity punishable under Article
5 5(g) of the Statute of the Tribunal.
6 Count 7: Rape, a violation of the laws or customs of war,
7 punishable under Article 3 of the Statue of the Tribunal.
8 Count 8: Outrages upon personal dignity, a violation of the laws
9 or customs of war, punishable under Article 3 of the Statute of the
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, madam.
12 Can I take it and conclude that you are not going to enter a plea
14 So for the record, we state quite clearly that Mr. Stankovic will
15 not be entering a plea today. You will have time to reflect upon the
16 matter in order to determine your position within the 30 days -- the
17 coming 30 days.
18 After this hearing, I think that we will have to have a Status
19 Conference, but before we do so, I propose a ten-minute break. So the
20 proceedings are adjourned until 10.00.
21 --- Whereupon the Further Appearance adjourned
22 at 9.45 a.m., to be followed by a Status Conference