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Rašević & Todović Judgement delivered by Bosnian Court in case referred by ICTY

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

The Hague, 29 February 2008

Rašević & Todović Judgement delivered by Bosnian Court in case referred by ICTY

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina yesterday found Mitar Rašević and Savo Todović, persons indicted by the International Tribunal and transferred to the national judiciary for trial, guilty of crimes committed during the country's 1992-1995 conflict.  They were sentenced to eight and half years and twelve and a half years imprisonment respectively.

The Rašević & Todović case is the third that concerns war crimes committed in the southeastern Bosnian town of Foča that was referred to the Sarajevo-based court by the International Tribunal.

The referral of cases is an important milestone in the Tribunal's work to assist in the strengthening of the rule of law in the region and further enhance its partnership with judiciaries in the former Yugoslavia.  While the most senior leaders are tried before the ICTY, some intermediate and lower-rank accused have been referred to national jurisdictions. The ICTY has to date referred six cases involving ten accused to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) found Rašević and Todović guilty of crimes against humanity committed against non-Serbs in Foča Correctional Facility between April 1992 and October 1994.  Rašević, the guards' commander in the facility used as a detention centre for non-Serb civilians, and Todović, the deputy warden, both participated in the establishment and maintenance of a system of punishment and mistreatment of detainees. They also took part in the establishment of a forced labour system for the detainees.

In September 2003, the ICTY sentenced the detention centre's commander, Milorad Krnojelac, to 15 years' imprisonment for torture, murder and persecutions committed in the facility.

Rašević and Todović were initially indicted by the ICTY Prosecution in 1997. Rašević was transferred to ICTY in 2003 and Todović in 2005. In September 2006 the Tribunal rendered its decision to refer the case to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The ICTY has referred to the Court of BiH two additional cases involving suspects indicted for crimes in Foča.  Gojko Janković and Radovan Stanković were tried separately and found guilty of war crimes, including rapes, by the Court of BiH.  Janković was, in November 2007, sentenced to 34 years' imprisonment. Stanković was, in April 2007, sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment.

In May 2007, Stanković escaped from the Foča prison in the Republika Srpska entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina where he had been transferred to serve his sentence. The Tribunal remains deeply concerned about Stanković's flight from justice and the failure of relevant authorities to remedy the situation.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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