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The Hague, 9 May 2006
Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic were transferred today from the custody of the Tribunal to Bosnia and Herzegovina to be tried in the country's State Court in Sarajevo.
The four Bosnian Serbs are charged with a broad range of war crimes committed during the early stage of 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict against Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs in the Omarska and Keraterm camps near Prijedor in northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina. Specifically, they are charged with confining in inhumane conditions, murdering, beating, sexually assaulting, harassing, humiliating and psychologically abusing non-Serbs in camps between May and August 1992.
It is alleged that Zeljko Mejakic was the Commander of the Omarska Camp at that time, that Momcilo Gruban was a guard shift commander at the Omarska Camp and that Dusan Fustar performed the same duty at the Keraterm Camp. Dusko Knezevic, according to the indictment, did not appear to hold an official position in either of the camps but had sufficient authority to be able to enter and leave the camps as he wished.
The Tribunal's Referral Bench ruled on 20 July 2005 that the case be transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina under the terms of 11 bis of the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Both the prosecution and defence appealed the decision and the prosecution later withdrew their appeal. On 7 April 2006, the appeals chamber granted the transfer.
A partnership with the judiciaries in the former Yugoslavia is a key component of the Tribunal's Completion Strategy. While the most senior leaders are tried before the ICTY, intermediate and lower rank accused may be referred to competent national jurisdictions. The ICTY has transferred six accused to Bosnia and Herzegovina for trial and referred one case involving two accused to Croatia.
The entire text of the decision can be found at: http://www.un.org/icty/mejakic/appeal/decision-e/060407.htm
Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website at www.un.org/icty.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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