Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
On Thursday 22 January 1998, SFOR forces detained in Bijeljina Goran JELISIC, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on 21 July 1995. Following his detention, Goran JELISIC was transferred to the jurisdiction of the ICTY.
The next legal step is the initial appearance of the Accused before a Trial Chamber. During this hearing, the Accused will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to each count he is charged with in the indictment.
The initial appearance hearing of Goran JELISIC will take place on Monday 26 January in the afternoon, at a time which will be later specified, before Trial Chamber I, consisting of Judge Jorda, presiding, Judge Riad and Judge Rodriguès. This hearing is public.
STATEMENT BY THE PROSECUTOR, JUSTICE LOUISE ARBOUR
"I welcome this latest SFOR initiative which is consistent with the authority given to it to support the ICTY in the full discharge of its mandate. I commend the professionalism and the dedication of the soldiers and their officers.
This kind of operation, after those in Prijedor in July and in Vitez in December, clearly signals to all the remaining indictees that the failure of their government to arrest them and to transfer them to The Hague will not disrupt the course of justice.
I therefore invite them to surrender themselves to the jursidiction of the Tribunal, failing which I am confident that similar SFOR operations will be carried out".
BACKGROUND ON THE INDICTMENT AND THE CHARGES
Goran JELISIC was indicted on 21 July 1995 along with Ranko CESIC in the "Brcko indictment".
According to the indictment, "beginning on about 30 April 1992, Serb forces from Bosnia and elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia fought to obtain control of Brcko, a town and municipality in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina(...). Serb forces forcibly expelled Croat and Muslim residents from their homes, and with the assistance of local Serb authorities held them at collection centres, where many where killed, beaten and otherwise mistreated (...)’.
The indictment goes on: "On about 1 May 1992, Goran JELISIC came to Brcko from Bijeljina [where he was born on 7 June 1968]...During most of May 1992, Goran JELISIC acted as a commander of Luka camp and called himself the "Serb Adolf". (...)
In May 1992, Goran JELISIC (...) systematically killed Muslim detainees at the Laser Bus Company, the Brcko police station and Luka camp. He introduced himself as the ‘Serb Adolf", said that he had come to Brcko to kill Muslims and often informed the Muslim detainees and others of the number of Muslims he had killed..."
Accused of the killing of countless detainees whose identities are unknown, of the killing of 16 identified detainees and of the beatings of 5 other detainees, Goran JELISIC is charged with one count of GENOCIDE, 18 counts of CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY, 18 counts of GRAVE BREACH OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS and 19 counts of VIOLATIONS OF THE LAWS OR CUSTOMS OF WAR.
THE EXHUMATION OF A SITE AT BRCKO
As announced at the end of last July, the 1997 exhumations program of the Office of the Prosecutor commenced at a site in Brcko. This site was related to the indictment of Goran JELISIC. The results of this exhumation will be used in the course of his trial.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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