Foca Trial

Tribunal Update No. 177 (Last Week in The Hague, May 22-27, 2000)

Foca Trial

Tribunal Update No. 177 (Last Week in The Hague, May 22-27, 2000)

Saturday, 27 May, 2000

The prosecution called Muhamed Nogo, a former officer in the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, JNA, and the Bosnian army, to testify on the regulations governing the responsibility of military officers to ensure civilians and prisoners of war in areas of conflict are protected. Nogo confirmed that in May 1992 the RS army had instituted such regulations as outlined under the Geneva Conventions.


Alongside Kovac and Vukovic, Kunarac stands accused of personally raping women in and around Foca. Kunarac was, however, an officer at the time and has also been charged with responsibility for offences committed by soldiers under his command.


According to the indictment, Kunarac brought women to a house on Osman Djikic street, which served as a base for some of the soldiers in his unit.


"If a commander knows that men under his command sexually abuse women, what must he do?" the prosecutor asked Nogo. "He must report it to his superiors and request the dismissal and criminal prosecution of those soldiers," he replied.


If an officer participates in the abuse then he is "the same or worse than his subordinates," Nogo said. If an officer supplies women for his soldiers to abuse, then "(He) is not an officer, but a pimp," he continued..


Kunarac's defence has presented a partial alibi claiming that their client was at the frontline on some of the days mentioned in the indictment. The prosecution has countered, however, that even on the days Kunarac was at the front he was within easy distance of Foca and could have returned to the town in the evening without difficulty.


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