Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
CHAMBRE DE 1 ère INSTANCE
The Hague, 20 February 2001
JUDGEMENT TO BE HANDED DOWN BY TRIAL CHAMBER II
IN THE KUNARAC, KOVAC & VUKOVIC CASE ("Foca")
On Thursday 22 February 2001 at 2.00 p.m., Trial Chamber II, consisting of Judge Mumba (Presiding), Judge Hunt and Judge Pocar will render its Judgement in the "Foca"case.
According to the indictment, in 1992 the town of Foca (south-east of Sarajevo) was overrun by Serb forces, with the surrounding villages continuing to be under siege until mid-July 1992. Following the take-over, thousands of Muslim and Croat inhabitants were arrested. The men and women were separated by Serb forces and unlawfully confined in various detention facilities or kept
essentially under house arrest. During the arrests many civilians were allegedly killed, beaten or subjected to sexual assault.
The Foča Kazneno-popravni Dom (“KP Dom”), one of the largest prison facilities in the former Republic of Yugoslavia, was the primary detention facility for men. The alleged commander of KP Dom, Milorad Krnojelac, is currently on trial at the Tribunal.
Muslim women, children and the elderly were detained in houses, apartments and motels in the town of Foča or in surrounding villages, or at detention centres such as Buk Bijela, Foča High School and the Partizan Sports Hall (“Partizan”). The indictment alleges that many of the detained women were subjected to humiliating and degrading conditions of life, to brutal beatings and to
sexual assaults, including rapes and gang-rapes.
The 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 allegedly commenced. Armed soldiers entered the detention centre and forcibly took the women from "Partizan" to houses, apartments or hotels for the
purpose of sexual assault and rape, the indictment alleges. From mid-May onwards, the Serb forces were in control of the Kalinovik municipality and took 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 allegedly subjected to sexual assaults and rape during their detention at the Kalinovik Primary School. Besides these detention places, several women were allegedly detained in houses and apartments used as brothels, operated by groups of soldiers, mostly paramilitary.
The indictment, confirmed on 1 December 1999, charged three individuals with a variety of crimes:
Dragoljub Kunarac who was allegedly the commander of a special unit for reconnaissance of the Bosnian Serb Army from June 1992 until February 1993. The indictment alleges that, in his capacity as commander, 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.
Radomir Kovac who was allegedly one of the sub-commanders of the military police and a paramilitary leader in Foča at the relevant time. He was involved in the attack on Foča and its surrounding villages and the arrest of civilians. It is also alleged that he was personally involved in sexual assaults and rape of Muslim women.
Zoran Vukovic is alleged to have been a sub-commander of the military police and paramilitary leader in Foca at the relevant time and is charged particularly for his alleged 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 girl and a 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.
The Trial of the three accused began on 20 March 2000. The prosecution case-in-chief concluded on 13 June 2000. During the trial the prosecution called 33 witnesses and presented 132 exhibits.
On the 20 June 2000 Kunarac, Kovac and Vukovic filed a joint motion for judgement of acquittal on certain counts charged in the indictment against them. On 3 July 2000, the Trial Chamber entered a judgement of acquittal in favour of Kunarac on Count 13 of the third amended indictment, confirmed on 1 December 1999, and held that Vukovic had no case to answer in
relation to the allegations made by Witness FWS-48 in support of Counts 33, 34, 35 and 36 of the redacted indictment, filed on 21 February 2000 (Vukovic still faces charges with regard to the two other victims under these counts). All remaining counts stand.
The defence case-in-chief commenced on 4 July 2000 and concluded on 20 September 2000. During the trial the defence called 29 witnesses and presented 174 exhibits.
The prosecution filed its closing brief on 9 November 2000, the defence filed a joint closing brief on 13 November 2000. The closing arguments took place on 20, 21 and 22 November 2000.
Office of the Prosecutor:
Mr. Dirk Ryneveld
Ms. Peggy Kuo
Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff
Counsel for the accused:
For Dragoljub Kunarac:
Mr. Slavisa Prodanovic
For Radomir Kovac:
Mr. Momir Kolesar
Mr. Vladimir Rajic
For Zoran Vukovic:
Mr. Goran Jovanovic
Ms. Jelena Lopicic
All media are invited to attend. The proceedings can also be followed in real audio via the ICTY web-site.