Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Delic Rape Charge Dropped

Judges conclude there is not enough evidence to sustain count against former Bosnian army commander.
By IWPR ICTY
Judges in the trial of former commander-in-chief of the Bosnian army Rasim Delic this week acquitted the accused on the count of rape.



The prosecution completed its case earlier this month and on February 14, the defence moved to drop the charge.



Under tribunal rules, defence teams may seek acquittal of their client on any count that they consider to have been unproven after the prosecution rests its case.



Judge Bakone Moloto informed the court, “When there is no evidence to sustain a count, a judgement of acquittal should be entered.”



The prosecution, who had alleged that Delic was responsible for the rape or sexual abuse of three women in the mujahedin camp in Kamenica in September 1995, agreed that there was a lack of evidence to support a conviction on the charge of rape.



After hearing evidence from two witnesses who interviewed the alleged rape victims, the trial chamber concluded that the count of rape had “not been supported with evidence capable of supporting a conviction”.



Delic stands accused of other war crimes committed by the mujahedin detachment - made up of foreign Muslim volunteers - under his command in Central Bosnia in 1994 and 1995.



According to the indictment, the mujahedin killed a number of Bosnian Croat and Serb prisoners and, despite knowing about such crimes, Delic did not properly investigate them or seek punishment for the perpetrators.



The trial chamber requested, in the interest of time, that the defence cut down the number of witnesses it called.



The defence will begin its evidence on March 4.



Simon Jennings is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.

More IWPR's Global Voices