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Dragan Zelenovic in Tribunal Custody

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 10 June 2006


Dragan Zelenovic was today brought into the Tribunal's custody after almost ten years on the run.

Zelenovic, a former Bosnian Serb policeman indicted for a range of war crimes including torture and rape committed in and around the south-eastern Bosnian town of Foca in 1992, was transferred from Bosnia and Herzegovina following an order of the country's State Court.

The Tribunal acknowledges the cooperation provided by the Bosnian authorities regarding the expeditious transfer of Zelenovic from the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, to the seat of the Tribunal in The Hague.

Zelenovic arrived in Sarajevo on Thursday 8 June 2006 having been expelled from the territory of the Russian Federation by the authorities there. He had been arrested by Russian security forces in August 2005 but not transferred to the Tribunal.

A date for Zelenovic's initial appearance before the Tribunal where he will enter a plea will be announced shortly.

Zelenovic was one of the sub-commanders of the Bosnian Serb military police and a paramilitary leader in Foca, The Tribunal's indictment alleges that he raped and participated in gang-raping numerous Bosnian Muslim women there.

According to the indictment, as soon as Serb forces took over the town of Foca in April 1992, military police, local soldiers and others began to arrest thousands of Muslim and Croat residents both from the town and its surrounding villages. They separated the men from the women, children and elderly and unlawfully confined them in various detention facilities such as Buk Bijela,
Foca High School and Partizan Sports Hall. Groups of soldiers, mostly paramilitary, detained several women in houses and apartments that they used as brothels.

The indictment alleges that Zelenovic raped, sexually assaulted and participated in gang-raping of women in a number of these places, including the gang-raping of a 15-year-old girl in the Buk Bijela detention center in July 1992.

Zelenovic was originally indicted on 26 June 1996 together with several others including Gojko Jankovic, Radovan Stankovic, Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac and Zoran Vukovic, all members of the Bosnian Serb military police or paramilitary units. The Tribunal convicted Kunarac, Kovac and Vukovic to 28, 20 and 12 years imprisonment, respectively, for crimes including raping,
torturing and enslaving a number of Bosnian Muslim women and girls. The Tribunal transferred Jankovic and Stankovic to Bosnia and Herzegovina to stand trial for these crimes before the War Crimes Chamber in Sarajevo.


Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website at www.un.org/icty