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Tribunal Welcomes the Reported Arrest of Dragan Zelenovic by the Russian Authorities

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 2 September 2005

Tribunal Welcomes the Reported Arrest of Dragan Zelenovic by the Russian Authorities

The Tribunal welcomes the reported arrest of Dragan Zelenović by the authorities of the Russian Federation and has sent an official request to the Russian authorities requesting his expeditious transfer to the ICTY in The Hague.

Dragan Zelenović had been at large for more than nine years.

According to the indictment, Dragan Zelenović is charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity and seven counts of violations of the laws or customs of war. As sub-commander of the military police and a paramilitary leader in Foča, south-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, the indictment charges Dragan Zelenović with multiple cases of rape individually, as well as for organising and participating in gang rape and for the removal of women to locations to be sexually assaulted and tortured.

The indictment alleges that, following the takeover of Foča in April 1992 by Serb forces, military police, accompanied by local and non-local soldiers, started arresting Muslim and Croat inhabitants. During the arrests many civilians were killed, beaten or subjected to sexual assault. Muslim women, children and the elderly were detained in houses, apartments and motels in the town of Foča and in surrounding villages, or at short and long-term detention centres such as Buk Bijela, Foča High School and Partizan Sports Hall. Many of the detained women were subjected to humiliating and degrading conditions of life, to brutal beatings and to sexual assault, including rape. Besides the above-mentioned places of detention, several woman were detained in houses and apartments used as brothels, operated by groups of soldiers, mostly paramilitary.

Dragan Zelenović was originally indicted in June 1996 alongside Gojko Janković, Radovan Stanković, Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovač, Zoran Vuković, Dragan Gagović and Janko Janjić. On 20 April 2001, the Prosecutor filed an amended indictment against Gojko Janković and Dragan Zelenović.

Related cases

Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovač and Zoran Vuković were tried in a joint trial. On 22 February 2001, the Trial Chamber rendered its judgement, convicting Dragoljub Kunarac to 28 years’ imprisonment for torture, rape and enslavement (crimes against humanity), Radomir Kovač to 20 years’ imprisonment for rape and outrages upon personal dignity (violations of the laws or customs or war) and enslavement and rape (crimes against humanity) and Zoran Vuković to 12 years’ imprisonment for torture and rape (violations of the laws or customs of law) and enslavement and rape (crimes against humanity). The Appeals Chamber affirmed these sentences on 12 June 2002 (see Press Release 679e).

On 17 May 2005, the ICTY Referral Bench ordered the transfer of the case against Radovan Stanković to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Appeals Chamber dismissed Radovan Stanković’s appeal against this Decision on 1 September 2005.