Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 13 March 1998
KUNARAC CASE: TRIAL CHAMBER ENTERS A NOT-GUILTY PLEA FOR THE ACCUSED
On Friday 13 March 1998 the Initial Appearance hearing in the case Prosecutor v. Dragoljub Kunarac, which had been adjourned on 9 and 10 March 1998, was concluded before Trial Chamber II (Judge Cassese, presiding, Judges May and Mumba).
On Monday 9 March 1998 the accused had pleaded guilty to count 41 of the Indictment, charging him with rape as a Crime against Humanity.
On 13 March, as provided by Rule 62 bis (see below) the Trial Chamber questioned the defendant in order to satisfy itself that the plea was, inter alia, not equivocal. The Trial Chamber found that the accused did not intend to plead guilty to the same and all the factual allegations set out by the Prosecutor in the Indictment. Furthermore, the Trial Chamber found that
the accused did not perceive his criminal conduct to be part of a widespread or systematic attack against the Muslim population of Foca on discriminatory grounds, which is a legal requirement of a Crime against Humanity.
As a consequence, the Trial Chamber entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of the defendant.
The date for trial remains to be set.
Rule 62 bis
If an accused pleads guilty (...) and the Trial Chamber is satisfied that:
(i) the guilty plea has been made voluntarily;
(ii) the guilty plea is not equivocal;
(iii) there is a sufficient factual basis for the crime and the accused’s participation in it, either on the basis of independent indicia or of the lack of any material disagreement between the parties about the facts of the case, the Trial Chamber may enter a finding of guilty and instruct the Registrar to set a date for the pre-sentencing hearing.