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Gojko Jankovic Transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)

The Hague, 8 December 2005

Gojko Jankovic Transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tribunal refers its fourth accused to a state in the former Yugoslavia for trial

Gojko Jankovic was today transferred from the Tribunal to Sarajevo to be tried by the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This follows a decision rendered on 15 November 2005 by the Appeals Chamber to uphold the decision to refer the case.

Jankovic is charged with crimes committed in the Foca region, located south east of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the period between July and October 1992. During this period the indictment alleges that Jankovic was a sub-commander of the military police and one of the main paramilitary leaders in Foca.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that Jankovic participated in a persecutorial campaign against the non-Serb, primarily Bosnian Muslim civilian population of the town of Foca and its surroundings. It alleges that Jankovic was in charge of a group of soldiers, who, on 3 July 1992, arrested a group of women and transported them to a location identified as Buk Bijela, where they were interrogated and raped. In addition it alleges that Jankovic personally participated in the interrogations and rapes. Between 3 July and 13 August 1992, when this group of women were detained in the Foca High School and the Partizan sports hall, the indictment alleges that Jankovic and those soldiers subordinate to him sexually assaulted the women in these detention facilities. Furthermore Jankovic is accused of having personally raped four young girls and women, together with two other participants, in an apartment near the Foca fish restaurant on 30 October 1992. Finally, the indictment alleges that Jankovic knew or had reason to know that soldiers subordinate to him sexually assaulted women and girls during or immediately following interrogations.

For these crimes Jankovic is charged both on the basis of individual criminal responsibility under Article 7(1) of the Statute and on the basis of superior criminal responsibility under Article 7(3) of the Statute. Jankovic was transferred to the Tribunal from Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 14 March 2005. At his initial appearance on 18 March 2005, Jankovic declined to enter a plea. At a further initial appearance on 15 April 2005 he entered a plea of not guilty.

The investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the crimes in and around the municipality of Foca has been a major part of the Tribunal's work. Four persons have been found guilty for the part they played in the crimes, two persons are at the appeal stage for their case to be transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina, a further two persons have been transferred to national authorities and a final person, Dragan Zelenovic, who was arrested by authorities in the Russian Federation in September, is still awaiting transfer to The Hague. In addition, Slobodan Milosevic, Momcilo Krajisnik, Biljana Plavsic and Radovan Karadzic, who is still at large, have also been charged with crimes committed in this area.

Referral of Cases

As part of the Tribunal's completion strategy, endorsed by the UN Security Council, the Prosecutor has requested a small number of cases involving mid and lower-level accused to be referred to national courts pursuant to Rule 11bis of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

While the ICTY concentrates on trying the most senior perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, it will continue to fully support trials of mid and lower-level perpetrators in courts in the former Yugoslavia, including those transferred from the ICTY, pursuant to Rule 11bis. The Tribunal has also undertaken an intensive and wide-ranging effort to help strengthen the capacity of national institutions to process war crimes cases.

For a case to be referred pursuant to Rule 11bis, the Referral Bench, comprised of three judges, has to order a referral of its own accord or following a request from the Prosecutor. A decision to refer a case is rendered only if the Bench is fully satisfied that the accused would be tried to the highest international standards and that neither the level of responsibility of the accused nor the gravity of the crimes alleged in the indictment were factors that would make a referral to the national authorities inappropriate. Currently, there are two cases involving six accused on appeal regarding their transfer to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Since its inception in 1993, the Tribunal has charged 161 persons for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. To date, proceedings against 88 persons have concluded. Six indicted persons remain at large.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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