Bosnian Serb’s 15-year sentence upheld by UN war crimes tribunal
The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has upheld a 15-year prison term for a former Bosnian Serb soldier who pleaded guilty to charges of torture and rape of Bosnian Muslims during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.
The Tribunal’s Appeals Chamber yesterday unanimously dismissed all grounds of appeal filed by Dragan Zelenović against the Trial Chamber’s sentencing judgment of April 2007 and thereby rejected his request to lower the sentence.
Mr. Zelenović, who was also a former military policeman, came into the Tribunal’s custody in June 2006 after several years on the run. In January 2007, he pleaded guilty
to three counts of torture and four counts of rape of Bosnian Muslim women and girls from the Foca municipality in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In total he was found guilty of personally committing nine rapes, four of which were gang rapes. Many involved torture.
Mr. Zelenović will serve his prison term in one of the States which have concluded an agreement with the ICTY on enforcement of sentences. He is entitled to credit for the time he has already spent in detention since 22 August 2005.
This judgement concludes the last case before the Tribunal specifically focused on crimes committed in Foca after the take-over of the municipality by Serb forces in April 1992.
The Tribunal has previously convicted three persons for the rape, torture and enslavement of Bosnian Muslim women and girls and one person for the persecution, torture and murder of non-Serb men held in the KP Dom detention camp. Four other accused were transferred to Sarajevo for trial before the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.