Press Release. Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 17 June 2002
RANKO CESIC TRANSFERRED TO THE HAGUE
On Monday 17 June 2002, following his arrest by the Serb authorities on Saturday 25 May 2002, Ranko Cesic was transferred from Serbia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to the Detention Unit of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
According to the Indictment, initially confirmed on 21 July 1995 and amended twice, on 13 May 1998 and 19 October 1998, Ranko Cesic was born in 1964 in Drvar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and lived in Brcko before the war.
The Indictment alleges that from about 30 April 1992, Serb forces fought to obtain control of Brcko, a town and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serb forces, with the assistance of local Serb authorities, forcibly expelled Croat and Muslim residents from their homes, holding them at collection centres where many were killed, beaten and otherwise mistreated. Many of the
women, children and elderly were confined at the nearby village of Brezovo Polje. Most of the men of military age, and a few women, were taken to Luka camp.
From about 7 May 1992 until early July 1992, Serb forces confined hundreds of Muslim and Croat men, and a few women, at Luka camp in inhumane conditions and under armed guard. Many detainees were systematically killed. Almost every day during that time, the accused, often assisted by camp guards, entered Luka’s main hangar where most of the detainees were kept, selected detainees
for interrogation, beat them and then often shot and killed them.
The Indictment alleges that Ranko Cesic acted under the apparent authority of the Brcko police and held a position of authority at the camp. At all times relevant to this Indictment, a state of armed conflict existed in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At all relevant times, Ranko Cesic was required to abide by the laws and customs governing the conduct of war, including the
Geneva Conventions of 1949.
The Indictment charges Cesic on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility (Article 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal) with:
- Six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 – murder; humiliating and degrading treatment), and
- Six counts of crimes against humanity (Article 5 – murder; rape, which includes other forms of sexual assault).
Ranko Cesic was indicted along with Goran Jelisic. Goran Jelisic was transferred to ICTY on 22 January 1998. At his initial appearance on 26 January 1998 he pleaded not guilty to all counts. At his second initial appearance on 29 October 1998 he pleaded guilty to all counts of crimes against humanity and violations of the law or customs of war and not guilty to the one count of
genocide. The trial commenced on 30 November 1998. On 19 October 1999, Trial Chamber I found him not guilty of genocide, but sentenced him to 40 years’ imprisonment for all counts of crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war. Following an appeal by the accused, the sentence was affirmed by the Appeals Chamber on 5 July 2001. Goran Jelisic is awaiting
transfer to a State to serve his sentence.
The date and time of the initial appearance of Ranko Cesic will be announced in due course.