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Milorad Krnojelac detained under sealed indictment and transferred to the International Tribunal.

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 15 June 1998

Milorad Krnojelac detained under sealed indictment and transferred to the International Tribunal.

Initial appearance will take place on 18 June 1998 at 9.30 a.m.

Following his detention on Monday 15 June 1998 by members of the S-For forces in Foca (southeastern Bosnia), Milorad KRNOJELAC was handed over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), taken into custody and transferred to the ICTY’s Detention Unit.

Milorad KRNOJELAC is the subject of an indictment presented by the Prosecutor on 6 June 1997 and confirmed by Judge Vohrah on 17 June 1997.

On the same day, at the Prosecutor’s request, Judge Vohrah also ordered the indictment against Milorad KRNOJELAC not to be disclosed "until it is served on the accused".

The next legal step is the hearing during which the accused will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty on each of the counts he is charged with.

This Initial Appearance hearing will take place on Thursday 18 June 1998 at 9.30 a.m. before Trial Chamber II, consisting of Judge Cassese (Presiding), Judge May and Judge Mumba.

Background on the accused

According to the indictment, Milorad KRNOJELAC, also known as "Mico", was born on 25 July 1940 in Birotici, near Foca.

Before the war, he was a teacher. He had the rank of a Captain First Class in the Yugoslav National Army (JNA).

From April 1992 until at least August 1993, Milorad KRNOJELAC was the commander of the KP Dom, the primary detention camp for Muslim and non-Serb civilian men from Foca and surrounding villages.

Background on the KP Dom detention camp.

The Foca Kazneno-Popravni Dom (KP Dom) was one of the largest prisons in the former Yugoslavia.

The indictment alleges that beginning mid-April 1992, "the Serb civilian and military authorities" began to use it as the primary detention facility for the Muslim and non-Serb men rounded up and arrested by the Serb military forces (military forces, which included Bosnian Serbs and citizens of Serbian descent from others parts of the former Yugoslavia) as soon as they controlled parts of Foca town. …/…

The indictment continues as follows: "Because of continuing arrests, the prison was overcrowded during the first few months, with the number of detainees reaching a peak of more than 760. During the remainder of 1992, the camp population averaged about 600 detainees. The majority of detainees were exchanged or released during 1992 and 1993, but the KP Dom functioned as a detention facility until October 5, 1994.

Most, if not all, detainees were civilians, who had not been charged with any crime, mostly Muslim men from 16 to 8o years of age, including mentally handicapped, physically disabled and seriously ill persons. The prison complex was surrounded by a wall of 3 meters height, with barbed wire on top, and watch towers with machine guns. The inner periphery was mined…The detainees were housed in a four-story building, which consisted of common prison cells and solitary confinement cells, 3 x 3 in size…

Background on the alleged crimes

Milorad KRNOJELAC is charged on the basis of both his personal responsibility and his responsibility as superior for the acts of his subordinates with:

Persecution: the indictment alleges that "Milorad KRNOJELAC persecuted the Muslim and non-Serb males by subjecting them to prolonged and routine imprisonment and confinement, repeated torture and beatings, countless killings, prolonged and frequent forced labour and inhumane conditions within the KP Dom detention facility. [He also] assisted in the deportation or expulsion of the majority of Muslim and non-Serb males from the Foca municipality".

Torture and beatings: six counts recount how detainees were subjected to beatings and acts of torture on their arrival, during their confinement, on their way to and from the mess, during the meals, and during interrogations

Willful killings and murder: the indictment alleges that an unknown number of detainees who had been tortured and beaten during their interrogations "died during these incidents. Some of those still alive after the beatings were shot or died from their injuries in the solitary confinement cells". These beatings and torture resulted at least in the death of 29 detainees.

Unlawful confinement in inhumane conditions: according to the indictment, "the living conditions in the KP Dom were brutal…characterized by inhumane treatment, overcrowding, starvation, forced labour and constant physical and psychological assault…. Because all detainees lived in a constant state of fear, some became suicidal, while others simply became indifferent as to what would happen to them…

Enslavement: Among the detainees, a workers’ group of at least 70 detainees with special skills was formed and forced to work inside and outside the camp, including at the front-lines. The detainees were not paid for their work, which was not voluntary. Even ill or injured detainees were forced to work. Those who refused were sent to solitary confinement.

Background on the charges

Milorad KRNOJELAC is charged with 7 counts of Crimes against Humanity (persecution, torture, inhumane acts, murder, imprisonment, enslavement), 6 counts of Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions (torture, willfully causing serious injury to body and health, willful killing, unlawful confinement of civilians, willfully causing great suffering, inhumane treatment) and 5 counts of Violations of the Laws or Customs of War (cruel treatment, murder, slavery).


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