Jezik / Language:
12 February 2007

Jankovic: Prosecution asks for 30 years


The Trial Chamber is asked to pass down a long prison sentence to Foca accused.

In its closing argument in the case against Gojko Jankovic, who is charged with crimes against humanity committed against civilians from Foca, the Prosecution asked the Trial Chamber to pronounce a sentence of not less than 30 years imprisonment.

"Your verdict will make this world look a better place. Your words will be heared by the victims who suffered from these crimes," Prosecutor Philip Alcock told the Trial Chamber.

Jankovic is accused of murders, mass expulsion, tortures, rapes and the forced detention and physical abuse of detainees. According to the indictment, he operated with his paramilitary unit on the territory of Foca, jointly with Army of Republika Srpska forces, and the Prosecution believes that the only motive for their actions was the "ethnic cleansing" of Bosniaks from East Bosnia.

According to the indictment, Jankovic is charged with crimes committed in the villages of Brezine, Kremenik, Brod and Trosanj. He is also held responsible for crimes committed against civilians who were detained in the facilities of hydro-electric power plan Buk Bijela, as well as young women who were detained in a house in Trnovace village near Foca. Jankovic and a group of soldiers allegedly used these women as sex slaves.

The heaviest crimes with which Jankovic is charged are rapes and encouraging others to rape girls ranging from 12 to 17 years old, and young women.

"Evil committed by people lives even after they are gone," the Prosecutor said and added that most victims still suffer from post-traumatic stress.

In its closing argument, the Prosecution accused defence witnesses of lying to the court on more than one occasion, and of jointly preparing statements they later put forward as evidence.

The Prosecutor also said that Milica Jankovic - the indictee's wife, who often escorted the witnesses - had helped them prepare their testimonies, adapt them for the court and, in one case, even personally typed the testimony of one of the witnesses.

"Defence witnesses not only lied, but they also offered evidence that was helpful to the Prosecution," Alcock said.

The Prosecutor said that the fact that the crimes were not committed in the heat of battle, and that the victims offered no resistance had contributed to the request for a long prison sentence.

He also added that Jankovic did not care about the destiny of his victims and that, after using the girls he raped, he gave them over to other soldiers or sent them to other places of detention where they were abused.

"On behalf of many victims, we ask that he is punished fairly and adequately," Alcock said at the end of his closing statement, which lasted more than three hours.

The Defence will present its closing statement on February 14, and the verdict will be announced on February 16, 2007.

So far, the following persons have been convicted before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for crimes committed in Foca: Dragoljub Kunarac (28 years imprisonment), Radomir Kovac (20 years), Zoran Vukovic (12 years), and Milorad Krnojelac (15 years).

The ICTY also pressed charges against Janko Janjic, who was killed during an arrest attempt in 2000; Radovan Stankovic, who was transferred to the War Crimes Chamber and was sentenced last year by the first instance chamber to 16 years of prison and Mitar Rasevic and Savo Todovic who are also in Sarajevo awaiting the beginning of their trial.

Jankovic was also originally indicted in The Hague, and was transferred to Sarajevo in 2005, as part of the Tribunal's exit strategy.

Dragan Zelenovic was also indicted in The Hague. He has admitted his guilt and a verdict is expected soon at the ICTY.
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