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22 June 2010

Gojko Jankovic Files a Complaint with Hague Tribunal

More than two and a half years after the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina handed down a second instance verdict sentencing him to 34 years in prison for crimes committed in Foca, Gojko Jankovic has filed a complaint with the Hague Tribunal claiming that the State Court was biased and asking for a retrial.
In April 2010 Jankovic filed a complaint with the Case Referral Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, listing a number of objections to the wayy his trial was conducted before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the verdict for crimes against humanity.

Complaining about bias on the part of the State Court and Prosecution, numerous wrongly determined facts and the fact that he was sentenced for charges that were not included in the original indictment confirmed by the Hague Tribunal, Jankovic asked for his case to be referred to the Hague Tribunal or for the Tribunal to order the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina to conduct a retrial on the basis of the original indictment.

The Case Referral Chamber rejected the proposal, saying, among other things, that the revision of the indictment, undertaken by the Prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, did not constitute a violation of regulations or Jankovic's right to a fair trial.

"The Tribunal is not competent to examine general allegations pertaining to a trial against an indictee who was sentenced before a different court. The Case Referral Chamber therefore refuses to consider the allegations. Convicts whose cases were referred to local judicial institutions should present their complaints before a competent court," the Tribunal's decision says.

The Chamber said that under the Rules of the Proceedings a prosecutor and not an indictee can ask for a referral of a case back to the Tribunal, which did not happen in this case. It said that such a request must be filed prior to the pronouncement of the verdict.

In November 2007 Gojko Jankovic was sentenced by a second instance verdict to 34 years in prison for having committed crimes against humanity in the Foca area as a paramilitary group leader in the town.

The verdict determined that, as of April 1992, Jankovic was the leader of a small paramilitary formation with the Fourth Battalion of the Foca Tactical Group with the Republika Srpska Army, VRS. He was found guilty of rape, torture and sexual slavery.

Among the gravest crimes for which he was sentenced were the rape of 12-year old AB in "Karaman house" in Miljevina village, near Foca and a multiple rape of several girls aged 15, 16 and 17.

The indictment against Gojko Jankovic was originally filed before the ICTY, but the case was referred to the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on December 8, 2005.
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