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Protected Prosecution witness A, her eyes filled with tears, has told the Trial Chamber that she blames Ranko Vukovic of having raped her – and stressed that she had said the same thing in previous statements.
The indictment alleges that, in July 1992, Ranko Vukovic “asked injured party A to take her clothes off. As she refused to do it, he cursed her mother, pushed her to the sofa, tore her clothes off and raped her.”
The same indictment also charges Ranko’s brother Rajko with having committed crimes on the territory of Foca municipality.
Attorney Veljko Civsa asked the witness several times why she failed to mention Ranko in a statement given in November 2003. The witness started crying after a long period of silence. The Trial Chamber then ordered a break.
Civsa continued examining the witness, by showing her newspapers mentioning her first and last name and quoting her statement in which she did not mention the name of his client.
The witness confirmed she had given the statement to the newspapers and said that she had not mentioned Ranko Vukovic’s name “due to the threats she received in relation to her testimony at the trial of Momir Skakavac before the Regional Court in Trebinje”.
The witness also said that Skakavac’s Defence attorney Bajro Cilic threatened her by saying that “me and my children will disappear” should she decide to testify. The witness claims to have told the Association of Detainees in Sarajevo about this. “They recommended that I tell the story to the newspapers, which I did”.
When asked by Civsa is she knew what the final outcome of the Skakavac case before the Regional Court in Trebinje was, the witness said she did not know.
Answering questions made by a Trial Chamber member, the witness responded that she was “raped by Ranko at about 8pm in July 1992”.
“I knew him because his cousin and I lived in the same building. He passed by our building on his way to a coffee shop, where he worked as a waiter,” said the witness, adding that, after being raped by Ranko, she was raped by other men several times.
This was the last Prosecution witness. At the next hearing scheduled on December 14, the Prosecution is due to present its material evidence.