Jezik / Language:
14 February 2007

Jankovic asks for acquittal

Indictee takes the stand to deny charges listed in the indictment against him.

At the end of his trial, Gojko Jankovic told the Trial Chamber that while it was true that his Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) unit took part in reconnaissance and actions "where that was necessary", he had not killed or raped anyone.

"I did not, nor did my commanding office order, for anyone to be killed. As far as the rapes are concerned, I did not rape anyone nor do I know that any of my soldiers did. It is true that I was protecting protected witnesses 191 and 186, at their own request," Jankovic said and added that he expects that the Court will acquit him.

However, the Prosecution has asked for a 30-year jail sentence.

It is alleged that Jankovic, who is charged with crimes against humanity, commanded a paramilitary unit that operated within VRS on the territory of Foca municipality during 1992 and 1993. According to the indictment, attacks on villages Brezine, Trosanj, Trnovac, Mjesaje, Kremenik hill and Brod suburb in Foca took place during that time period.

Jankovic is also charged that he raped or enabled others to rape girls, teenage girls and young women in his house in Trnovace village, as well as the so-called Karaman house that served as a bordello for VRS soldiers.

Witness 186 was among the rape victims who Jankovic, according to the indictment, raped on multiple occasions and kept her as his personal sex slave. He is also charged that he once raped protected witness 191 and a few other women as well.

Jankovic is one of four persons charged with crimes committed in Foca who have been transferred from the Hague tribunal to be processed before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In his closing argument, defence attorney Milan Trbojevic described the Prosecution witnesses as "unreliable" and accused some of lying in their testimonies. He also said that he believes that during the procedure the Court often "practically acted to the favour of the prosecution" and that he did not feel that the indictee was fairly treated.

While denying witness's testimonies, the defence attorney used the example of protected witness 75 who claimed in her testimony that she was a victim of a gang rape in 1992 and that the soldiers tortured and beat her before they raped her.

"This kind of description does not have basic logic. Why would they first beat then rape a 15-year-old girl?" Trbojevic said.

The Defence also claims that the prosecution did not successfully prove statements on rape committed by Gojko Jankovic. Trbojevic also objected to the application of the Bosnian Criminal Code by the Court, instead of the code of the former Yugoslavia, which was in place at the time of the crimes.

"I don't know Gojko from before, but during the past year – the duration of the trial – we had a chance to spend time together," Trbojevic said at the end and added that he also met the indictee's family - two daughters, son and wife.

"Gojko is a normal person and that is a normal family. The monster described by the prosecutor simply does not exist," the defence attorney concluded.

The Trial Chamber will announce its verdict on February 16.
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