Jezik / Language:
18 July 2006

Jankovic hostages claim

In the continuation of the main hearing in the case against Gojko Jankovic, the prosecution presented another protected witness who was a victim of rape in women's camps in Foca.
The prosecution called two more witnesses against Gojko Jankovic, who is charged with crimes committed on the territory of municipality Foca.

The protected witness who appeared using the pseudonym "175" was aged only 16 when she survived a few women's detainment camps in and around Foca in 1992.

According to her testimony, at the beginning of the war she and her family lived in Miljevina, a village near Foca, where Pero Elez – the former commander of paramilitary formation in Foca who was the warden of women's camp Karamanova kuca - promised her protection and hid her and girl R.K. in one of the houses in the village.

Without precisely stating how long she was in the house, the witness said that she and the other girl were taken from the house by Radovan Stankovic, who is currently on trial before the war crimes chamber, and soldier nicknamed Miso.The detained girls were taken to a house in the village Trnovaci, which was allegedly commanded by Gojko Jankovic.

"Gojko waited for us there. He asked them who we were. They said that they brought us from Pero Elez's house. Gojko said that we can't stay there because he didn't want problems with Elez," witness 175 said.

After Trnovaca, they were both taken to a house in the village Brod, where R.K.was raped for the first time, then to a private flat in Foca where witness 175 was raped for the first time. In the flat they found other girls, one of who was pregnant.

After a short time spent in the flat, witness 175 and the girl R.K. were taken to a new location, where they were found by Jankovic, who made them to move into his house. According to the words of witness 175, they found three other girls in the house, of whom one, as the witness said, "belonged" to Jankovic.

"Nobody else was allowed to touch her, and he could do whatever he wanted with her," the protected witness described the situation.

The witness said that other soldiers also came to the house and that Jankovic resided there. The guard was a soldier named Jadranka.

"She made us do things against our will. She made R.K. drink alcohol with her, wash bloody uniforms, bathe her," the witness said and added that she herself was once forced to bathe with a certain Gago, a regular visitor in the house of detainment, who then raped her.

"Jadranka made us eat bacon. She told us that all Muslims will eat that during Ramadan," this witness said.

"[Jankovic] was the boss in the house. Everyone called him 'Major' and asked him for everything. He also acted as the boss," witness 175 claimed, adding that Jankovic had had the ability to stop what was happening to her and other girls.

At the end of August 1992, a soldier called Sasa helped to free witness 175 and R.K.

"I didn't know [Sasa] before but one night he came to the house with another soldier. Jadranka locked me in the room with the other guy, his name was Phantom and he had a scar on his face. He raped me.

"R.K. was in the room with Sasa. He took her [away] later. The next day [Sasa] came to get me and told Jadranka that he was taking me to a place worse than this. She asked for money for me and he gave it to her. When we sat into the car, he said that R.K. sent him to help
me," witness 175 said.

Gordana Igric, a Belgrade journalist who is currently the director of Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network (BIRN), also appeared as a prosecution witness against Gojko Jankovic. In 1996, after war crimes indictments for crimes committed in Foca were confirmed in The Hague, Igric went to Foca where she interviewed some of the indictees, including Jankovic.

According to Igric, the interview with Jankovic was recorded on an audio tape with his consent, which was presented by the prosecution as evidence.

The witness told the court that Jankovic told her that before the war he was a"salesman and prominent citizen", and that because of that "the people gathered around him" in order to organise themselves and defend the Serb people.

During that interview Jankovic said that in the beginning there were 40 to 50 people around him, but that the number increased later.

"I asked him what he thought about the indictment and whether he is responsible for the crimes mentioned in it. He said that what was written is incorrect and that he is a man with a reputation and that it must be jealousy, that neither he nor others whose names were mentioned participated in the rapes," Igric said.

Beside Jankovic, the names of Dragan Zelenovic - who was recently arrested in Russia and transferred to The Hague via Sarajevo – and Janko Janjic, who was killed in 2003 in Bosnia during an arrest attempt, were also mentioned in the indictment filed by the Hague tribunal in 1996.

Jankovic denied that the interview was recorded with his consent.

The continuation of the trial is scheduled for August 3.
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