|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 7 April 2006
Today, 7 April 2006, the Appeals Chamber upheld the decision to refer the Mejakic et al. case, involving four accused, to Bosnia and Herzegovina for trial. The Appeals Chamber dismissed eight of the grounds in the Joint Defence Appeal, and allowed one in part.
Zeljko Mejakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan Fustar and Dusko Knezevic are charged with confining in inhumane conditions, murdering, beating, sexually assaulting, harassing, humiliating and psychologically abusing Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats and other non-Serbs in the Omarska and Keraterm camps in Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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. As for Dusko Knezevic, according to the indictment, he did not appear to hold an official position in either the Keraterm or the Omarska camp but had sufficient authority to be able to enter
and leave the camps as he wished.
The Referral Bench's decision of 20 July 2005, orders the Registrar to make arrangements to transfer the accused to Bosnia and Herzegovina within 30 days. It also orders the Prosecution to hand over to the Prosecutor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as soon as possible, the material supporting the indictment as well as all other relevant evidence.
A partnership with the judiciaries in the former Yugoslavia is a key component of the Tribunal's Completion Strategy, as endorsed by the UN Security Council. While the most senior leaders are tried before the ICTY, intermediate and lower rank accused can be referred to competent national jurisdictions. The ICTY has previously transferred two 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.