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The Hague, 10 December 2001
Indictment against Savo Todovic and Mitar Rasevic unsealed.
On 29 November 2001, following a request by the Prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, Judge Liu Daqun unsealed an indictment against Savo Todovic and Mitar Rasevic. Savo Todovic and Mitar Rasevic were originally jointly charged with Milorad Krnojelac in an indictment dated 11 June 1997. Milorad Krnojelac was detained and transferred into the Tribunal’s custody on 15 June 1998.
The Indictment ("Foca - KP Dom Camp")
According to the indictment, on 7 April 1992, Serb military forces, which included Bosnian Serbs and citizens of Serbian descent from other parts of the former Yugoslavia, began the occupation of Foca town, which was completed on 16 or 17 April 1992.
As soon as the Serb forces controlled parts of Foca town, military police, accompanied by local and non-local soldiers, started arresting Muslim and other non-Serb inhabitants. Most, if not all, detainees were civilians, who had not been charged with any crime, mostly Muslim men from 16 to 80 years’ of age, including mentally handicapped, physically disabled and seriously ill persons. The Foca Kazneno-Popravni Dom (KP Dom), one of the largest prisons in the former Yugoslavia, became the primary detention facility for men.
Savo Todovic worked in the KP Dom prison from 4 January 1974 until at least October 1994. As deputy commander of the KP Dom prison staff from April 1992 until at least August 1993, he was second in command in the prison hierarchy and had similar powers and duties as the camp commander. According to the indictment, Savo Todovic was the person in charge of selecting detainees for killings, beatings, interrogations, forced labour, solitary confinement and exchanges. He was also responsible for the punishment of the detainees.
Before and during the war, until at least October 1994, Mitar Rasevic was the commander of the KP Dom guards. His primary duty was to supervise at least 37 guards. He was in charge of the solitary confinement cells and had the power to release detainees from isolation. He communicated with external military and political authorities, especially with regard to prisoner exchanges.
The indictment charges the accused on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) of the Statute) and, or alternatively, superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3)) with:
- Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 - torture; cruel treatment; murder; slavery)
- Crimes against humanity (Article 5 - persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds; torture; inhumane acts; murder; imprisonment; enslavement).
- Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions (Article 2 - torture; wilfully causing serious injury to body or health; wilful killing; unlawful confinement of a civilian; wilfully causing great suffering; inhuman treatment
The Trial of Milorad Krnojelac
The trial commenced on 30 October 2000 and closing arguments were heard on 19 and 20 July 2001.
During the trial, which lasted for 76 days, the Prosecution called 45 witnesses and the Defence called 31 witnesses. The Prosecution and Defence tendered 283 and 279 exhibits respectively.
The Trial Chamber has now adjourned to consider its Judgement which will be rendered in due course.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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