(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
JL/ P.I.S./ 478-e
The Trial of Kunarac, Kovac and Vukovic will begin on Monday 20 March 2000
The trial of Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac and Zoran Vukovic will begin on Monday 20 March 2000 at 9.30 a.m. in Courtroom I. The trial will be held before Trial Chamber II, composed of Judge Florence Mumba (Zambia), Presiding, Judge David Hunt (Australia) and Judge Fausto Pocar (Italy).
BACKGROUND ON THE ACCUSED
Dragoljub Kunarac was born on 15 May 1960 in Foca, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For several years before the war he lived in Tivat, Montenegro.
According to the indictment, Dragoljub Kunarac was the commander of a special unit for reconnaissance of the Bosnian Serb Army from June 1992 until February 1993. This unit consisted of volunteers, mainly from Montenegro, some of them recruited by the accused himself. Dragoljub Kunarac had his headquarters in a house in Foca were he stayed with about 10 to 15 soldiers after the take-over of the town. In his capacity as commander of these soldiers, Dragoljub Kunarac was responsible for the acts of the soldiers subordinate to him and knew or had reason to know that his subordinates sexually assaulted Muslim women. It is also alleged that he was also personally involved in sexual assaults and rape of Muslim women.
Voluntary surrender: 4 March 1998 Initial appearances: 13 March 1998; 25 August 1998; 24 September 1999, pleaded "not guilty" to all counts.
Radomir Kovac was born on 31 March 1961 in Foca, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to the indictment, Radomir Kovac was one of the sub-commanders of the military police and a paramilitary leader in Foca at the relevant time. He was involved in the attack on Foca and its surrounding villages and the arrest of civilians.
Date of detention by SFOR: 2 August 1999 Initial appearances: 4 August 1999; 24 September 1999, pleaded "not guilty" to all counts.
Zoran Vukovic was born on 6 September 1955 in the village of Brusna, municipality of Foca, Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the indictment Zoran Vukovic worked as a waiter and driver before the war. It is alleged that he was involved in the attack on Foca and its surrounding villages and the arrest of civilians. He was one of the sub-commanders of the military police and a paramilitary leader in Foca.
Zoran Vukovic is particularly charged for his involvement in the sexual assault, including gang-rape, of women and girls detained at the Foca High School throughout July 1992, the sexual abuse of women, including a 15 year old and 16 year old girl at the Partizan Sports Hall, and the removal of women from the Hall to houses and apartments to be sexually abused, from about July until August 1992.
Date of detention by SFOR: 23 December 1999 Initial appearances: 29 December 1999, pleaded "not guilty" to all counts.
BACKGROUND ON THE INDICTMENTS
The Indictment (“Foca”)
Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovac and Zoran Vukovic were originally named in an indictment with five other accused, confirmed on 26 June 1996.
Dragoljub Kunarac was severed from the original indictees in an amended indictment, confirmed on 19 August 1998. On 3 September 1999, a second amended indictment was confirmed joining Dragoljub Kunarac and Radomir Kovacfollowing the latter’s detention. A third amended indictment was confirmed on 1 December 1999 (IT-96-23).
Following his detention, a redacted indictment was filed against Zoran Vukovic on 21 February 2000 containing only the facts and charges against him (IT-96-23/1).
(IT-96-23, Dragoljub Kunarac and Radomir Kovac) and (IT-96-23/1, Zoran Vukovic)
The third amended indictment, confirmed on 1 December 1999, alleges that by 16 or 17 April 1992 the town of Foca (south-east of Sarajevo) was taken over by Serb forces and the surrounding villages continued to be under siege until mid-July 1992.
The take-over was followed by the arrest of Muslim and Croat inhabitants. The Serb forces separated men and women and unlawfully confined thousands of Muslims and Croats in various detention facilities or kept them essentially under house arrest. During the arrests many civilians were killed, beaten or subjected to sexual assault.
The Foca Kazneno-popravni (“KP Dom”), one of the largest prison facilities in the former Republic of Yugoslavia, was the primary detention facility for men. Muslim women, children and the elderly were detained in houses, apartments and motels in the town of Foca or in surrounding villages, or at short or long-term detention centres such as Buk Bijela, Foca 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 assaults, including rapes.
The Partizan Sports Hall ("Partizan") functioned as a detention centre for women, children and the elderly from approximately mid-July to mid-August 1992. Immediately after the transfer of civilian Muslim women to "Partizan", a pattern of sexual assaults commenced. Armed soldiers, mostly in groups of three to five, entered the detention centre, usually in the evening, and forcibly took the women from "Partizan" to houses, apartments or hotels for the purpose of sexual assault and rape.
From mid-May onwards, the Serb forces were in control of the Kalinovik municipality. The take-over was followed by measures against the non-Serb population including arrest. While the male non-Serb population was detained in the military warehouse called Barotni, the women and children were detained in the Kalinovik Primary School. Women and girls as young as 12 years’ old were subjected to sexual assaults and rape during their detention at the Kalinovik Primary School.
Besides these detention places several women were detained in houses and apartments used as brothels, operated by groups of soldiers, mostly paramilitary.
The indictment charges Dragoljub Kunarac on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal) and superior criminal responsibility (Article 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal) with:
Crimes against humanity (Article 5 – torture; rape; enslavement), Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 – torture; rape; outrages upon personal dignity).
And, individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1)) for:
Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 – plunder of private property).
The indictment charges Radomir Kovac on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1)) of the Statute of the Tribunal with:
Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 – rape; outrages upon personal dignity Crimes against humanity (Article 5 – enslavement; rape).
The indictment charges Zoran Vukovic on the basis of individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1)) of the Statute of the Tribunal with:
Violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 – torture; rape), and Crimes against humanity (Article 5 – torture; rape).
BACKGROUND ON THE PARTIES
Office of the Prosecutor:
Mr. Dirk Ryneveld
Ms. Peggy Kuo
Ms. Hilgegard Uertz-Retzlaff
Counsel for the accused:
For Dragoljub Kunarac: Mr. Slavisa Prodanovic
For Radomir Kovac: Mr. Momir Kolesar
For Zoran Vukovic: Mr. Goran Jovanovic
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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