Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 27 May 1998
DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS THE INDICTMENT AND TO RELEASE THE ACCUSED
On 21 May 1998, Counsel for the Accused Anto FURUNDZIJA filed a motion to request the Trial Chamber to dismiss Counts 13 and 14 of the indictment on the ground that the two charges – torture and outrage on the personal dignity including rape – are not covered by Article 3 of the Statute, entitled "Violations of the Laws or Customs of War".
The original indictment, issued on 10 November 1995, charged Anto Furundzija with three counts – one count for Grave Breach of the Geneva Convention (Count 12), and two counts for Violations of the Laws or Customs of War, torture and outrages upon personal dignity including rape (Counts 13 and 14) – for his alleged criminal conduct.
On 13 March, Trial Chamber II-bis issued an order granting leave to the Prosecutor to withdraw Count 12 of the indictment.
Consequently, the Accused remained charged with Counts 13 and 14.
According to the Defendant, "[the] Tribunal does not have subject matter jurisdiction over Counts 13 and 14 […] because the crimes with which Mr. Furundzija is charged – torture and outrages upon personal dignity including rape – are not covered by Article 3 of the Statute [of the Tribunal]."
The Defendant expressed the view, related to torture, that "Count 13 of the indictment must be dismissed because torture is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions that can be prosecuted only under Article 2 of the Statute of the Tribunal". It added, "the crime of rape raises a more complicated question. […] The issue for this Trial Chamber to resolve, however, is
whether rape can be prosecuted as a grave breach under the Geneva Conventions. If rape is grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, then, under Tadic [case], it cannot be prosecuted under article 3 of the Statute […] because grave breaches can be prosecuted only under Article 2".
As a consequence of the sought dismissal of Counts 13 and 14 of the indictment, the only two counts charging the Accused, the Defendant requested that "Mr. Furundzija should be released from custody immediately".
The Trial Chamber will issue its decision on the above Defendant’s motion after the Prosecutor has responded to it.
The commencement of the trial of Defendant Anto Furundzija has been scheduled for Monday 8 June at 9.30 a.m.