Bosnian Court Urged to Jail Serb Ex-Soldier for Rape

19. September 2022.16:24
The prosecution asked the court to convict Radovan Veljovic of committing a crime against humanity for raping a woman during a campaign of violence by Bosnian Serb forces in the Foca area in 1992.

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Foca, where the alleged crime was committed. Photo: BIRN.

Prosecutor Behaija Krnjic told the Bosnian state court in Sarajevo on Monday that it had been proved without doubt that Radovan Veljovic, a wartime soldier with the Bosnian Serb Army raped a woman in May 1992 and should be convicted of committing a crime against humanity.

Krnjic said Veljovic should receive a longer prison term than the prescribed one due to his determination and persistence in the commission of the crime, as well as severe mental consequences for the victim.

“It is completely clear that there is not a single mitigating circumstance to reduce the sentence,” Krnjic said.

He recalled the testimony by the victim, who said that the defendant took her to the house where she was raped and afterwards threatened to kill her if she spoke about what had happened.

The prosecutor said that on the following day, she confided in some people that she had been raped.

The prosecutor also mentioned that another witness, in whose house the victim was living with her minor son and mother-in-law, confirmed that two young soldiers came and that Veljovic wanted to question the victim.

Krnjic said that this witness and three others said they heard that Veljovic had raped the woman.

He added that the defence attempted to prove that the defendant was not guilty based on minor discrepancies.

“They have not managed to deny a single decisive fact,” the prosecutor insisted, arguing that defence witnesses presented their subjective beliefs as fact.

The prosecutor also said that Veljovic was aware of the widespread and systematic attack against the Bosniak population in the Foca area from April to July 1992, which involved arrests, murders and detentions, as well as the destruction of property and religious facilities and organised resettlement.

He noted that witnesses also spoke about an attack on their home on April 20, 1992, when around 15 men were killed, including the rape victim’s husband and father-in-law, while others were put in detention.

The defence is due to present its closing statement on October 17.

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Marija Taušan

This post is also available in: Bosnian