Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1

1 Friday, July 12 2002

2 [Initial Appearance]

3 [Open Session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning. Please be seated. May we please

7 hear the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is case number IT-96-23/2-I,

9 the Prosecutor of the Tribunal against Radovan Stankovic.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much, and may we have the

11 appearances in this case. For the Prosecutor?

12 MS. KUO: Good morning, Your Honour. Peggy Kuo on behalf of the

13 Prosecution. With me is Diane Dicklich, the case manager.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Good morning.

15 And for the Defence.

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Defence counsel. Microphone

17 for the Defence counsel, please.

18 MS. DUBOIS: Nobody tell me the microphone.

19 Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm Valerie Dubois, lawyer in Paris, and

20 I assist Mr. Stankovic.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much.

22 Please, let's be sure that everybody can understand us.

23 Mr. Stankovic, can you hear me in a language you understand?

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.

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1 Then may I ask the Defence: Did you receive the necessary

2 documents in preparation of this Initial Appearance?

3 MS. DUBOIS: Yes, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you have the opportunity to discuss the

5 material with the accused?

6 MS. DUBOIS: [Interpretation] May I please speak in French?

7 Because my English would be inadequate. I saw Mr. Stankovic half an hour

8 ago. He does not wish me to represent him during this hearing, but I

9 explained to him that this was regular procedure and that he will have

10 time to prepare his defence.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. We received the document in which it is

12 stated that Mr. Stankovic said that he didn't want an attorney to

13 represent him at the Initial Appearance in court. He will select an

14 attorney of his own choosing later.

15 Nevertheless, under Article 11 of the directive on assignment of

16 Defence counsel, in the interests of justice, the Registrar has assigned

17 you for this Initial Appearance today.

18 Let me now turn to Mr. Stankovic, who is appearing on the basis of

19 the amended indictment of the 5th of October, 1999. As far as I know -

20 and OTP, please correct me if I'm wrong - he was arrested the 9th of July.

21 The legal basis was an arrest warrant dated the 5th of July, 2002. Mr.

22 Stankovic was brought to The Hague and is, since Wednesday, in the United

23 Nations Detention Unit in Scheveningen.

24 This case was assigned by the President of this Tribunal to Trial

25 Chamber II. In this context, I have already now to inform the parties

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1 that Trial Chamber II is composed of Judge Agius, Judge Mumba, and me. We

2 have checked whether or not there could be an obstacle to act as Judges in

3 this case. As to the fact that Judge Mumba had been Presiding Judge in

4 the case against Mr. Kunarac and others, and me myself been on the Bench

5 in the appeals case against Mr. Kunarac and others. Nevertheless, we came

6 to the conclusion that, especially under Rule 15, this does not create an

7 obstacle, at any rate, not for the purposes of an Initial Appearance.

8 Nevertheless, it might be that the assignment to Trial Chamber II is a

9 provisional only.

10 Mr. Stankovic, I should like to ask you several questions. The

11 first questions are only for purposes of the identification, having

12 nothing to do with the case as such. Would you please state your full

13 name, including all first names and last names, for the record.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Radovan Stankovic.

15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And your father's and mother's name,

16 please?

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Todor and Petra.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what is the date and place of your birth?

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The 10th of March, 1969, in the

20 village of Trebica, the Foca municipality.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And what was your professional occupation before

22 you came here?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My last occupation was policeman.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Your last place of residence, please?

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Srbinje, Foca.

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1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And finally, are you married and do you have

2 children?

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I am. I have two sons.

4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you, Mr. Stankovic.

5 The proceedings today are your Initial Appearance before this

6 Tribunal. It seems, first of all, to be a formality only, but it is very

7 important in time, setting to a certain extent the course for the entire

8 procedure. The underlying reasons for this procedure is the following:

9 The Prosecution has asked the Trial Chamber to confirm an indictment

10 against you, on a prima facie basis. Additionally, there was a request

11 for an arrest warrant forming the basis of your deprivation of your

12 liberty. Normally, the other party, in this case you, Mr. Stankovic, would

13 have a right to be heard before a decision is taken. But it is in the

14 nature of the aforementioned decisions that it was not possible to hear

15 you beforehand. This will be cured now. You will have the possibility to

16 contest both the indictment and the deprivation of liberty. For a better

17 understanding of what's going on, let me give you the following

18 information before the reading out of the indictment:

19 Mr. Stankovic, it is your right to remain silent. No inference to

20 your disadvantage can be drawn if you remain totally silent. The

21 inference can be drawn, the only one, can be found in Rule 62 of our Rules

22 of Procedure and Evidence, where you can read that: "if the accused fails

23 to enter a plea in the Initial Appearance, the judge shall enter a plea of

24 not guilty on the accused's behalf."

25 But I have to warn you at the same time that everything you may

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1 say in the courtroom may be used even against you in evidence.

2 Mr. Stankovic, did you understand this admonition?

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.


5 Let's now hear the charges of the indictment, but only in those

6 parts relevant for Mr. Stankovic.

7 THE REGISTRAR: The Prosecutor of the International Criminal

8 Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, pursuant to her authority under

9 Article 18 of the Statute of the Tribunal charges Radovan Stankovic with

10 crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war, as

11 set forth below:

12 Background. The city and municipality of Foca are located

13 south-east of Sarajevo, in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and borders

14 Serbia and Montenegro. According to the 1991 census, the population of

15 Foca consisting of 40.513 persons was 51.6 per cent Muslim, 45.3 per cent

16 Serbian, and 3.1 per cent others. The political and military takeover of

17 the municipality of Foca started with the first military actions in the

18 town of Foca on 7 April 1992. The Serb forces, supported by artillery and

19 heavy weapons, proceeded to take over Foca, section by section. The

20 takeover of Foca town was complete by 16 or 17 April 1992. The

21 surrounding villages continued to be under siege until mid-July 1992.

22 As soon as the Serb forces had taken over parts of Foca town,

23 military police, accompanied by local and non-local soldiers started

24 arresting Muslim and Croat inhabitants. Until mid-July 1992, they

25 continued to round up and arrest Muslim villagers from the surrounding

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1 villages in the municipality. The Serb forces separated men and women and

2 unlawfully confined thousands of Muslims and Croats in various short and

3 long-term detention facilities or kept them essentially under house

4 arrest. During the arrests, many civilians were killed, beaten, or

5 subjected to sexual assault.

6 The Foca Kazneno-Popravni Dom hereinafter KP Dom, one of the

7 largest prison facilities in the former Republic of Yugoslavia was the

8 primary detention facility for men. Muslim women, children, and the

9 elderly were detained in houses, apartments, and motels in the town of

10 Foca or in surrounding villages, or at short and long-term detention

11 centres such as Buk Bijela, Foca High School, and Partizan Sports Hall,

12 respectively. Many of the detained woman were subjected to humiliating

13 and degrading conditions of life, to brutal beatings and to sexual

14 assaults, including rapes.

15 Besides the above-mentioned detention places, several woman were

16 detained in houses and apartments used as brothels, operated by groups of

17 soldiers, mostly paramilitary. The ICRC and other organisation, unaware

18 of these detention facilities, did not intervene. Therefore, those

19 detainees had no possibility of release or exchange.

20 The accused.

21 Radovan Stankovic, aka Rasa, son of Todor, born on 12 February

22 1969 in the village of Trebica, municipality of Foca, was a permanent

23 resident of Miljevina. He belonged to the Serb elite paramilitary unit of

24 Pero Elez. Radovan Stankovic was also a subordinate of Pero Elez.

25 Radovan Stankovic was in charge of Karaman's house in Miljevina, where

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1 Muslim women were detained and sexually assaulted, including raped.

2 General allegations. At all times relevant to this indictment, an

3 armed conflict existed in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the

4 territory of the former Yugoslavia.

5 At all times relevant to this indictment, the accused were

6 required to abide by the laws or customs governing the conduct of war.

7 Unless otherwise set forth below, all acts and omissions set forth

8 in this indictment took place between April 1992 and February 1993.

9 In each count charging crimes against humanity, a crime recognised

10 by Article 5 of the Statute of the Tribunal, the acts or omissions were

11 part of a widespread or large-scale or systematic attack against a

12 civilian population, specifically the Muslim population of the

13 municipality of Foca.

14 Witnesses and victims are identified in this indictment using

15 code-names or pseudonyms, such as FWS-95 or initials, for example, DB.

16 All accused are individually responsible for the crimes charged

17 against them in this indictment, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute

18 of the Tribunal. Individual criminal responsibility includes committing,

19 planning, initiating, ordering or aiding and abetting in the planning,

20 preparation, or execution of any acts or omissions set forth below.

21 The charges.

22 Counts 45 to 48. Enslavement and rape of FWS-75, FWS-87, and

23 seven other women in Karaman's house.

24 Pero Elez, a Serb paramilitary leader in a position of regional

25 authority, commanded an elite unit of Vukovar fighters. Pero Elez's

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1 headquarters were in the Miljevina hotel. On 2nd of August, 1992,

2 Dragoljub Kunarac, in concert with Pero Elez, took FWS-75, FWS-87, and DB

3 from the Montenegrin headquarters in Foca to the Miljevina hotel because

4 the women had spoken to journalists the day before about the living

5 conditions in Partizan Sports Hall. Pero Elez ordered the detention of

6 the three women in a house, which was close to the hotel, and owned by

7 Nusret Karaman, a Muslim who lived in Germany. Later on, other women and

8 girls were detained at Karaman's house. Some were as young as 12 and 14

9 years of age. The number of women and girls detained at Karaman's house

10 between 2nd of August, 1992 and at least until 30 October, 1992 totalled

11 nine. Radovan Stankovic, a soldier from the elite unit commanded by Pero

12 Elez, was in charge of Karaman's house after the death of Pero Elez.

13 Radovan Stankovic ran Karaman's house similar to a brothel.

14 In contrast to Partizan Sports Hall, the detainees at Karaman's

15 house had sufficient food. They were not guarded or locked inside the

16 house. The detainees even had a key they could use to lock the door and

17 prevent soldiers, not belonging to Pero Elez's group, from entering. The

18 detainees were also given the telephone number of the Miljevina motel and

19 were told that they should call this number if any soldier without

20 authorisation tried to enter the house. When the women did call this

21 number, either Radovan Stankovic or Pero Elez would come to prevent other

22 persons from entering the house. Although the detainees were not guarded,

23 they could not escape. They had nowhere to go, as they were surrounded by

24 Serbs, both soldiers and civilians.

25 FWS-75 and FWS-87 were detained in Karaman's house between or

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1 about 3 August until or about 30 October 1992, together with seven other

2 women. Pero Elez treated the women as his personal property.

3 During the entire period of their detention at Karaman's house,

4 FWS-75, FWS-87, and the other female detainees were subjected to repeated

5 rapes and sexual assaults at night. All the perpetrators were Serb

6 soldiers who belonged to Pero Elez's group. Among the soldiers who

7 frequently raped FWS-75 and FWS-87 (vaginal and anal penetration) was

8 Radovan Stankovic.

9 The first time both women were raped in Karaman's house was on or

10 about 3 August 1992, shortly after their arrival. An unidentified soldier

11 raped FWS-75 (vaginal penetration) while Radovan Stankovic raped FWS-87

12 that day.

13 In addition to the rapes and other sexual assaults, all the female

14 detainees were forced to work for the Serb soldiers, washing uniforms,

15 cooking, and cleaning the house. FWS-87 was taken three times from

16 Karaman's house to other buildings in Miljevina. On these occasions, she

17 was forced to clean rooms in the buildings, cook for the soldiers, and

18 paint the window frames. On one of the three occasions, when she was

19 taken out with another woman, two Montenegrin soldiers sexually assaulted

20 both women.

21 At Karaman's house, the detainees constantly feared for their

22 lives. If any woman refused to obey orders, she would be beaten.

23 Soldiers often told the women that they would be killed after the soldiers

24 were finished with them because they knew too much. FWS-87 felt suicidal

25 during the entire time of her detention in Karaman's house.

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1 By the foregoing acts and omissions, Radovan Stankovic committed:

2 Count 45 (enslavement).

3 Count 45: Enslavement, a crime against humanity, punishable under

4 Article 5(C) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

5 Count 46 (rape).

6 Count 46: Rape, a crime against humanity, punishable under

7 Article 5(g) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

8 Count 47 (rape).

9 Count 47: Rape, a violations of the laws or customs of war,

10 punishable under Article 3 of the Statute of the Tribunal.

11 Count 48 (outrages upon personal dignity).

12 Count 48: Outrages upon personal dignity, a violation of the laws

13 or customs of war, punishable under Article 3 of the Statute.

14 Signed Carla Del Ponte, Prosecutor, dated this 5th day of October,

15 1999, at The Hague, the Netherlands.

16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much.

17 Mr. Stankovic, may I ask you: Did you understand this indictment?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I have to inform you that under Rule 62 of our

20 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, within 30 days of this Initial Appearance

21 you will be called upon to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty on each

22 count but that should you so request, you may immediately enter a plea of

23 guilty or not guilty on one or more counts.

24 Mr. Stankovic, are you ready to enter a plea to the charges today?

25 Are you able to tell us --

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1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Do I have to stand?

2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It is not necessary.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not wish -- I do not wish to

4 plead to any of these charges and counts. I am guilty because I am Serb

5 and because I defended my people.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Wait a minute. You may come later with these

7 remarks. First of all, I have formally to ask you, and I repeat: Are you

8 ready to enter a plea to the charges today or do you want to wait the 30

9 days?

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not wish to plea at all.

11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you discuss this with your Defence counsel?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.

13 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Ms. Dubois, do you want to comment?

14 MS. DUBOIS: [Interpretation] Mr. Stankovic didn't -- I have

15 nothing to add to what I said before with respect to my meeting with

16 Mr. Stankovic that I had earlier on. Thank you.

17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you for this.

18 Mr. Stankovic, the Rules state quite clearly that only if you

19 request, then you may immediately enter a plea of guilty or not guilty on

20 one or more count. Did I understand you correctly that you request to

21 answer or not answer today?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have already answered that

23 question. I do not wish to enter a plea at all with respect to this

24 indictment.

25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I understand correctly that neither today, nor

Page 13

1 within the next 30 days, you want to enter a plea. Correct?

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then I have to inform you that under Rule 62, it

4 reads: "if the accused fails to enter a plea at the initial or any

5 further appearance, the judge has to enter a plea of not guilty on the

6 accused's behalf."

7 Do you understand the consequences, that your silence will be

8 regarded as a plea of not guilty?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I have the impression that the accused has

11 understood the admonition and voluntarily decided not to enter a plea,

12 neither today nor within the next 30 days, and therefore Rule 62 is

13 applicable. And on behalf of the accused, it is to enter a plea of not

14 guilty.

15 This is true for all the counts in the indictment just read out.

16 Therefore, the accused pleads not guilty to count 45, enslavement, a crime

17 against humanity, punishable under Article 5(c) of the Statute of the

18 Tribunal; to count 46 (rape), a crime against humanity, punishable under

19 Article 5(g) of the Statute of the Tribunal; count 47, rape, a violation

20 of the laws or customs of law, punishable under Article 3 of the Statute

21 of the Tribunal; and finally, to count 48, outrages upon personal dignity,

22 a violation of the laws or customs of war, punishable under Article 3 of

23 the Statute of the Tribunal.

24 We may now turn to the question of deprivation of liberty. Today

25 I have to decide whether or not there will be an ongoing deprivation of

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1 your liberty. Of course, it's your right to contest the legality of your

2 arrest. Do you want to raise any objections today or, as it is custom in

3 this Tribunal, file a motion with the assistance of a Defence counsel?

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will do so with the assistance of

5 Defence counsel.

6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Therefore, then, I have today to

7 order that the detention has to continue until further order and expect

8 your contributions.

9 Is it necessary that anybody is informed on your deprivation of

10 liberty, for example, spouse or relative, especially to inform where you

11 can be reached here?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My family has already been informed,

13 so that there's no need for you to inform them again.

14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. In this context, the second question

15 is: Do you want the Tribunal to inform your consulate or embassy on your

16 deprivation of liberty?

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So please tell me what's the consulate or the

19 embassy to be informed.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of Republika Srpska.

21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I understand the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina

22 entity Republika Srpska. Right?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Republika Srpska.

24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be

25 informed.

Page 16

1 Do you want to add anything else? I have to ask you: What about

2 your health condition and the condition in the Detention Unit? Do you

3 have any observations as regards this?

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Everything is fine. I have no

5 observation whatsoever. Thank you.


7 May I then turn to the Office of the Prosecutor. I think on the

8 basis of the remaining indictment before us, the OTP should be invited to

9 rethink the question of jurisdiction in this case. No doubt the alleged

10 crimes are serious crimes. They are serious war crimes, if they are

11 committed as described in the indictment. Nevertheless, the test whether

12 or not we have jurisdiction, of course, remains the one we already can

13 read in the entire, full name of our Tribunal: Serious violations of

14 international humanitarian law. And in addition, we have to check,

15 especially taking into account the situation in the Detention Unit and the

16 long period of detention, trial pending, being aware of all the other

17 cases waiting to be heard, whether or not there is a concurrent

18 jurisdiction able and willing to hear this case, and in this respect to

19 revisit whether or not Rule 11 bis of our Rules of Procedure could be

20 applicable in this case. Any comments from the OTP at this point in time?

21 MS. KUO: Your Honour, on behalf of the Prosecution, I wish to

22 state that we do regard these allegations as being serious violations, and

23 they are part of an indictment that was previously found -- where the

24 accused were previously found to be guilty, and that was affirmed on

25 appeal. However, we do -- we will take Your Honour's comments into

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1 consideration, and I will bring this to the attention of those who are

2 able to make a decision whether this rethinking is necessary. Thank you.

3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you very much.

4 Any other observations by the parties? This seems not to be the

5 case. I have to thank you for being here, and this concludes the Initial

6 Appearance.

7 --- Whereupon the Initial Appearance

8 adjourned at 9.36 a.m.