Jezik / Language:
16 January 2007

Zelenovic admits guilt after plea agreement

Former Republika Srpska military police deputy commander made a plea agreement with the Hague prosecution and admitted to being partially guilty of torture and rape in Foca.
Dragan Zelenovic has admitted raping Bosniak women and girls in Foca after making a deal with the Hague prosecution, which guaranteed to drop some of the charges against him.

On January 17 the ICTY announced that the prosecution has filed a redacted indictment and a copy of the plea agreement according to which Dragan Zelenovic took part in attacks on Foca and surrounding villages including Trosanj and Mesaji whose population was arrested and detained on the premises of hydroelectric plant Buk Bijela.

According to ICTY the prosecution agreed to drop seven counts of the indictment if he admitted to the remaining seven counts.

Zelenovic admitted to raping a 15-year-old girl in Buk Bijela. He also admitted that he aided and abetted the rape and torture of another victim. He again raped the same victim in Partizan Sports Hall.

According to the plea agreement, Zelenovic also admitted that he took part in rapes, torture and gang-rape of women detained in Foca's High School as well as that he participated in rape of four women held captive in so-called Karaman house

The prosecution proposed a sentence of ten to 15 years' imprisonment for Zelenovic, while the defence proposed seven to ten years.

At a hearing held on January 16, the trial chamber said that the agreement was reached last year, but had not been announced until Tuesday. Until Wednesday's hearing, Zelenovic refused to admit to being guilty of any of the 14 counts with which he was charged.

As part of the deal Zelenovic agreed to provide information and to testify in any forthcoming cases in front of the ICTY.

According to the indictment, he was one of Republika Srpska military police deputy commanders and leader of a paramilitary unit in Foca.

The indictee was arrested in August 2005 in west Siberia, Russia, where he lived and worked under a false name.

Although the ICTY issued the wanted circular for Zelenovic, the Russian government delivered him to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the summer of 2006. He was later transferred to The Hague.
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