Legacy website of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Since the ICTY’s closure on 31 December 2017, the Mechanism maintains this website as part of its mission to preserve and promote the legacy of the UN International Criminal Tribunals.

 Visit the Mechanism's website.

Kunarac case: The Prosecutor has been granted leave to amend the indictment - The accused will plead to the new charges on Friday 28 August.

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

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


The Hague, 25 August 1998




Accused Dragoljub KUNARAC will make a further appearance on Friday 28 August at 3 p.m. in order to enter a plea to the new charges in the amended indictment brought against him by the Prosecutor.

This hearing is public. It will be followed by a closed status conference before Pre-trial Judge Florence Mumba (see Press Release 326).

The accused

Dragoljub Kunarac a/k/a "Zaga" and "Dragan" was born on 15 May 1960 in Foca.

He lived in Tivat, Montenegro, prior to the April 1992 attack on Foca.

According to the indictment, Dragoljub Kunarac was the commander of a special unit for reconnaisance of the Bosnian Serb Army; this special unit consisted of volunteers, mainly from Montenegro, some of them recruited by the accused himself. The accused had his headquarters in a house in the Alad`a neighbourhood in Foca at Ulica Osmana \iki}a no. 16, where he stayed with about 10 to
15 soldiers after the take-over of Foca.

Dragoljub Kunarac was allegedly personally involved in sexual assaults and rape of Muslim women.

In his capacity as commander, the accused was also allegedly responsible for the acts of soldiers subordinate to him and knew or had reason to know that his subordinates sexually assaulted Muslim women.

The original indictment and the initial appearance following the voluntary surrender of the accused :

Dragoljub Kunarac was initially indicted on 26 June 1996 with seven other defendants in the first indictment dealing exclusively with sexual offences. This significant indictment covers the brutal regime of gang rape, torture and enslavement which Muslim women of Foca and elsewhere were subjected to between April 1992 and February 1993 by Bosnian Serb soldiers, policemen and
members of paramilitary groups, including some coming from Serbia and Montenegro.

Dragoljub Kunarac surrendered to the ICTY on 4 March 1998. To date he is the only one of the eight persons named in the original indictment in custody of the ICTY.

Following the initial appearance of Dragoljub Kunarac , on 9, 10 and 13 March 1998, Trial Chamber II was not satisfied that the guilty plea entered by the accused was not equivocal and entered on his behalf a not-guilty plea (see Press Release 303).

The amended indictment

On 14 July, the Office of the Prosecutor filed a Motion to be granted leave to amend the indictment against Dragoljub Kunarac, based on "new evidence about additional sexual assaults allegedly committed by the accused or soldiers under his command obtained by the Office of the prosecutor during the weeks following the initial appearance".

Judge Lal Chand Vohrah, who also confirmed the amended indictment "in respect of each and every count therein", granted this leave on 19 August.

The amended indictment:

- severs the case of the accused from the case of the other defendants charged with him in the original indictment

- alleges that the accused was involved in four more incidents of sexual offences (initially six) allegedly committed in three more locations (initially two) against four more victims (initially six)

- Reformulates the initial four counts (two counts of Crimes against humanity, one count of Grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and one count of Violations of the Laws or Customs of War) in twenty-one counts (nine counts of crimes against humanity and twelve counts of Violations of the Laws or Customs of War).

The full text of the amended indictment is available on the ICTY Internet Home page