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Dragan Zelenović

All the victims… trust that the real causes of what happened will be identified and that the people will muster enough courage, including victims, to tell the story of what happened. Those who did it, that they too will be able to speak out so that we all can have a basis for a common life together one day.

Dragan Zelenović, was a Bosnian Serb soldier and de facto military policeman in the town of Foča, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. Zelenović raped and tortured a number of detained Muslim women and girls, including a 15 year old. Women who resisted his sexual assaults were threatened with death or were beaten. As part of the plea agreement, Dragan Zelenović agreed to provide truthful and complete information and to testify at any proceedings before the ICTY. Zelenović was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.

Read Guilty Plea Statement

23 February 2007. (extract from transcript of hearing)

[Interpretation] Your Honours, I have expressed my position and remorse in the statement presented by the Defence. Also now, before all, I wish to repeat this and say I thank you for giving me this opportunity to address you first and foremost with a few words and then all those who advocate truth and justice. I hope that the victims of this senseless war will hear my words too.

This is a war that didn't make anybody happy. Guided by biblical teachings that the truth is not to be feared because that is the only thing that will help all, I have confessed as to my guilt, and I am prepared to bear all the consequences of that. I know that not a single form of punishment can erase the suffering sustained by my victims.

However, faith teaches us that admission of having committed injustice to someone is the best way of helping them. And also in order to protect the victims from being reminded yet again of their suffering, I admitted my guilt. I feel sorry for all the victims who were victimised by anything that I did, and that is why I express from this forum my deepest remorse and regret.

I am a human being with virtues and vices, and I didn't know how to deal with these vices when I should have.

Your Honours, it is for you to give your say now. I will courageously take any sentence meted out, and I hope that God will give me strength to go through all of this and that I go back to my family.

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