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Kunarac Case: New Plea On The Amended Indictment

Tribunal Update 91: Last Week in The Hague (24-29 August, 1998)
By IWPR ICTY

Kunarac has made three initial appearances--on 9, 10 and 13 March--and each time he was called to enter a plea in response to the indictment which charged him with the rape and torture of Bosniak women and girls (see Update 67). After he pleaded guilty to rape, but not torture, at his first appearance, Kunarac added new qualifications to his confession. Therefore the judges finally concluded that the accused did not understand the legal implications of his guilty plea for a crime against humanity, and Trial Chamber II on 13 March entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of the defendant.

In the meantime, however, the indictment against Kunarac was amended with 17 new counts, alleging his involvement in four more incidents of sexual offences (initially he was charged with six), allegedly committed in three more locations (initially two), against four more victims (initially six). The amended indictment, also severs the Kunarac case from the case of another seven defendants--still at large--charged with him in the Tribunal's original indictment (issued on 26 June 1996). This was the Foca indictment, the first which dealt exclusively with rape and other sexual offences as war crimes.

At his fourth initial appearance on 28 August, Kunarac replied 21 times "Nisam kriv" ("Not guilty"). Unlike before, when he allowed that he might be "guilty to a certain extent", Kunarac looked self-confident and in a good mood, entering an undoubtedly unequivocal plea.

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